You can no longer see major movies using MoviePass

No Pooh for you.
No Pooh for you.
Image: AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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MoviePass’s latest survival plan appears to be barring paying subscribers from using the service to see movies.

The movie-ticket subscription service, which is barely keeping its business—and company stock price—afloat, will block members from using the service to see major upcoming releases, including Disney’s Christopher Robin film and the Jason Statham-starring shark thriller The Meg, Business Insider reported. A source familiar with the company told the publication that CEO Mitch Lowe revealed the plan in an all-hands meeting on July 30, and “implied the practice of not offering tickets to major movies would continue for the foreseeable future.”

Users on social media said they were shut out of movies like Mission: Impossible—Fallout over the weekend as well.

The Meg and Christopher Robin are the biggest US releases of the next two weeks. It’s unclear how long users will put up with a service they are no longer able to use freely. Disgruntled members threatened to cancel today via social media. Others lamented how good the service was while it lasted.

With MoviePass, members typically pay $9.99 per month to watch to one movie per day in a standard movie format at most US theaters, and the company covers the costs of the tickets. To stem its losses, the platform recently began restricting members from seeing titles more than once, and charging fees to see movies during peak moviegoing times. Parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics, burned about $27 million per month on average from October 2017 to June 2018, and $45 million per month in June and July, when big releases like Incredibles 2 and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom bled the company dry.

Late week, it ran out of money. The MoviePass service went down at many theaters temporarily on Thursday when it couldn’t pay merchant and fulfillment processors for tickets. Helios and Matheson borrowed an expensive $5 million to cover the costs. But reports of issues using MoviePass continued through Saturday.

As of the time of this writing, there were also no showtimes available at most of the movie theaters in New York City and other US cities. The only theaters available to some members were those that MoviePass partners with to offer online ticketing, or e-ticketing, such as Landmark Theatres and Studio Movie Grill locations.

MoviePass said in its FAQs on July 30 that it was working to fix a “technical issue that is affecting some users using our card-based check-in system.” It had not yet addressed its plans to stop supporting major movies with customers.

MoviePass representatives did not immediately return Quartz’s request for comment.

Shares of Helios and Matheson cratered over the last week, after the company did a 250-for-1 reverse stock to avoid being delisted on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The stock was adjusted from $0.09 to $21.25 when trading closed on July 24. It closed at $0.80 today, after losing 60% of its value in a single day.