MoviePass parent company files for bankruptcy, fails last death saving throw

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MoviePass officially died in September, but today the dream of defying basic arithmetic is extra-dead. Helios and Matheson Analytics, MoviePass’ the ill-fated parent company, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. As Variety reports, Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the dissolution of an entity, with assets sold in order to pay back creditors. This differs from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in which an entity attempts to negotiate with their creditors and restructure. MoviePass tanked an entire company so bad that it is now beyond saving.

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing also coincided with the resignation of Helios and Matheson board members as well as the company’s interim CEO and interim CFO. In cinematic terms, this is the part of the horror movie sequel where MoviePass has been set on fire, collapses in a heap just short of the river’s edge, and the Final Girl puts a fire axe through MoviePass’ face. And then MoviePass is shot into space. And then the rocket with MoviePass on it is blown up.

It’s over. For really real now.

I’m going to miss MoviePass, even if it didn’t function properly starting around mid-2018. Thanks to their quixotic disruption ethos, I was able to see more than 300 movies in theaters in one year. It was a rewarding experience. Sure, it’s something I will never do again, but I’m glad to have done it on someone else’s dime. Variety reported that in 2018, Helios and Matheson suffered a loss of more than $329 million. It was death by a million stubs.

For all its faults, MoviePass wasn’t all bad when it still worked. Their doomed subscription model for movie tickets paved the way for AMC A-List, which I happily use. Similar movie ticket subscription services have sprung up since, including Regal Unlimited, Cinemark Movie Club, and Alamo Season Pass. These chain-based subscription models are great for people trying to save money while still enjoying a theater experience.

MoviePass probably helped get more cineaste duffs in the seats of indie theaters and repertory houses, which likely led to memberships and more patrons at these lovingly programmed places. If you went to a non-chain theater to see an art film, foreign release, or indie movie with MoviePass, I urge you to go back and support that theater in some way.

So, yes, MoviePass is extra-dead, but its spirit lives.

Any time you make a very dumb math mistake, the spirit of MoviePass lives on in you.

Any time you have a terrible plan that flies in the face of logic and common sense, MoviePass is kept alive.

When you buy your own BS about disruption and shifting paradigms even though it’s all bluster, MoviePass is helping you flap your no-good yapper.

And whenever you persist at something against common sense to the detriment of investors and employees, you embody the spirit of MoviePass.

I think if you look real hard, you’ll find a little bit of MoviePass in all of us. Long may we run.

MoviePass Parent Company Files for Bankruptcy [Variety]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.