How many times can one predict the end of MoviePass, the Netflix-like subscription service that allows users to see movies in theaters for the low general price of $9.99 per month? The service has long seemed too good to be true, and each new report about its uncertain future—including abrupt and unpopular subscription changes, a revealing S.E.C. filing, and a tough auditor report—has made it appear as though the end is really, truly nigh. Still, MoviePass has held on—though the latest in this line of bad omens seems more dire than the rest. This week, MoviePass endured a service outage, one that resulted from the company temporarily running out of cash—and being forced to borrow $5 million in order to keep service going.
In exchange for subscription dollars, MoviePass itself pays full price for its users movie tickets. But as Helios and Matheson, the company that owns MoviePass, disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Friday, its product stopped working Thursday, when money to cover the cost of the tickets was running low—thus that $5 million I.O.U., courtesy of Hudson Bay Capital Management. The actual total was $6.2 million—including an additional $1.2 million to cover the “original issue discount.”
“The $5.0 million cash proceeds received from the Demand Note will be used by the Company to pay the Companys merchant and fulfillment processors,” the filing said, per Business Insider. “If the Company is unable to make required payments to its merchant and fulfillment processors, the merchant and fulfillment processors may cease processing payments for MoviePass, Inc. (MoviePass), which would cause a MoviePass service interruption. Such a service interruption occurred on July 26, 2018.”
On Thursday, MoviePass itself confirmed to its users that something was buggy, issuing a tweet acknowledging that the company was “experiencing technical issues with our card-based check-in process.”
In a follow-up tweet, the company acknowledged that the bug wasnt because of its card-processor partners.
And this is not the only major issue MoviePass has faced this week. According to CNN, its stock price dropped more than 50 percent this week after the company announced a plan to bounce its stock price from 8 cents to $21. Its not the first time recently that MoviePass stock has taken a dive.
Oh, MoviePass. What are we going to do with you? For avid moviegoers, the company is a dream come true, an amazingly cheap way to actually watch films in theaters, just as filmmakers intended. (“None more than me,” Christopher Nolan whispers to himself.) Yet that $10 price tag—criminally affordable!—has proven slightly too much to bear, with damning new details coming to the fore with an alarming frequency. For now, the center is still holding—but who knows how long that will last? Representatives for MoviePass have not yet responded to Vanity Fairs request for comment.
Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Full ScreenPhotos:Michelle Williams Amazing Range
I Feel Pretty, 2018
As breathy beauty mogul Avery LeClaire, Williams showed a knack for delightfully strange comedy.Photo: By Mark Schäfer/Everett Collection.
All the Money in the World, 2017
Mark Wahlbergs salary demands made headlines—but Williamss determined mother, Gail Harris, is the real heart of this kidnapping drama.Photo: From TriStar Pictures/Everett Collection.
The Greatest Showman, 2017
She sings! She dances! She holds her own against Hugh Jackman and a tents worth of colorful circus folk!Photo: From 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection.
Manchester by the Sea, 2016
Williamss heartbreaking monologue is the most memorable moment of this drama—even if her performance wasnt the one to be rewarded with an Oscar.Photo: From Roadside Attractions/Everett Collection.
Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, 1998
Was it wise of Williams and her friends to have a Halloween party in the town that gave birth to Michael Myers? Probably not—but its fun to watch her scream.Photo: From Dimension Films/Everett Collection.
Dawsons Creek, 1998
Yes, the show was ultra-90s teen cheese—but Williams brought surprising depth to the role of Jen Lindley, the sensitive sexpot next door.Photo: From Everett Collection.
The film that started it all: Williams made her first big-screen appearance in this gentle family adaptation, at the tender age of 14.Photo: From Paramount/Everett Collection.PreviousNext
Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.