MoviePass Reinventing Business Model — Again

With its corporate (Helios and Matheson Analytics) parent’s stock delisted, theatrical ticket subscription service MoviePass is again attempting to reinvent its business model and relevance — this time without relying on exhibitor cooperation and revenue.

Following the previously announced MoviePass Entertainment Holdings integrating film production and exhibition, MoviePass said it plans to implement a new business model that prioritizes “self-generated” revenue.

Specifically, the fiscally-challenged ticket service plans to focus on “technological innovation” and “high-quality” content production through MoviePass (theatrical subscription service); MoviePass Films (original content production company) and Moviefone (multimedia media information and advertising service).

“Spending the last several months analyzing the many different aspects of our prior business model, in terms of what worked and what didn’t, I believe we’ve been able to illuminate the path forward,” Ted Farnsworth, CEO of HMNY, said in a statement.

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MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said the ticket service has gained a “tremendous amount” of insight into moviegoers and the industry over the past 18 months.

Indeed, the service, which launched to much fanfare offering consumers daily access to a theatrical screening for a monthly $9.95 fee, could never financially pay for the loss leader business model without exhibitor help — which the service never received.

As the fiscal losses mounted, HMNY’s stock plummeted. Exhibitors AMC Theatres and Cineworld launched their own ticket subscription services.

MoviePass, however, has apparently been successful in content production.

MoviePass Films, through co-founders co-founders Randall Emmett and George Furla, continue to generate films, including dramas with Bruce Willis (10 Minutes Gone) — the first of three titles with the actor, and Al Pacino and Meadow Williams in current production, Axis Sally.

In addition, Border, a Cannes-winning film MoviePass Films co-distributed with Neon Rated, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

“We now have a winning combination that we believe will drive consumers to our films and re-energize casual moviegoers to go more often and see great films in local theaters,” said Lowe.

 

MoviePass Looking to Market Ticket Subscription Technology to Theaters

MoviePass, the beleaguered subscription theatrical ticket service, is looking to market its technology to exhibitors.

Dubbed a “red label” solution, the strategy is to enable theater owners a means of offering a proprietary subscription ticket service to consumers.

In addition to MoviePass, AMC Theatres and Cinemark currently offer monthly ticket subscription plans.

“Our new business strategy is stabilize, optimize and grow,” Khalid Itum, EVP of MoviePass, told Variety, which first reported the move.

MoviePass in August 2017 turned the exhibition service on its ear offering a $9.95 monthly service that enabled subscribers daily access to a theatrical screening.

While the loss-leader pricing concept resonated with millions of consumers, paying for it proved to be a debacle for MoviePass and its corporate parent Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY).

With the service hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars, it has introduced seesaw measures to rein in costs, alienating consumers in the process.

MoviePass now charges from $9.95 to $24.95  monthly for theatrical access depending on market location. A new unlimited plan is also in the works.

HMNY’s stock has taken a beating on Wall Street, with shares in risk of being delisted for failing to meet the $1-per-share minimum. The corporate parent this week filed papers looking to spin off MoviePass to a subsidiary in hopes of resuscitating the penny stock.

HMNY subsidiary MoviePass Films got a boost this week after its film, Border, was nominated for an Academy Award in the “Best Makeup and Hairstyling” category. Announced last September, MoviePass Films partnered with Neon Rated LLC to co-release the Cannes award-winning film from writer and director Ali Abbasi.

The Swedish fantasy film is based on the short story of the same name by Ajvide Lindqvist from his anthology “Let the Old Dreams Die.” It won the Un Certain Regard award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was selected as the Swedish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, though it was not nominated.

 

 

MoviePass Films Partners with Neon for Indie Releases

MoviePass Films, the production company co-owned by MoviePass parent Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), has partnered with independent distributor Neon for upcoming releases of Sundance award-winner Monsters and Men and Cannes award-winner Border, both of which are anticipated to open in the U.S. in the next few weeks.

Neon, which distributed Oscar-nominated I, Tonya, Three Identical Strangers and Ingrid Goes West, shares equity ownership in Monsters and Border.

HMNY launched MoviePass Films as an ancillary revenue stream – streaming, DVD sales, transactional sales, international rights, retail – from its branded theatrical subscription ticket service.

“The films are high-caliber, prestige titles and are great fits for the MoviePass audience,” MoviePass Films CEO Randall Emmett, said in a statement.

The partnership kicks off with the New York City premiere of Monsters and Men on Sept. 25, ahead of the drama’s New York and Los Angeles opening on Sept. 27. The film will be available in theaters nationwide in mid-October.

Border, which was selected as Sweden’s entry for best foreign-language film at the Academy Awards, took home the top prize in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard category earlier this year.

Fiscally-challenged MoviePass will make the films available to subscribers as bonus movies, which will not count toward monthly in-theater movie allotments. Select subs will also have a chance to attend the film’s red-carpet premieres and receive other special perks throughout the duration of the partnership.

“It’s great to see the different Helios media companies coming together and working towards generating more business for each other,” said Helios CEO Ted Farnsworth.

Farnsworth could use all the synergies he can find. HMNY shares are currently trading at 1.6 cents, with the stock in threat of being delisted by Nasdaq. HMNY has a market cap around $10.5 million.

MoviePass Films’ partnership with Neon follows just-wrapped production on 10 Minutes Gone, starring Bruce Willis. Previously, MoviePass Films produced Gotti, The Row, co-acquired American Animals through MoviePass Ventures, and claims to have a slate of 10 films being prepared for production.