MoviePass to Shift Business Model to Focus on its Own Films

The company has films with Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, Michael Chiklis and Al Pacino in its pipeline

Last Updated: March 6, 2019 @ 6:17 AM

In its latest effort to shore up finances, MoviePass has announced plans for a new business model it says will prioritize self-generated revenue instead of reliance on earnings from exhibitors and studios.

The plan is to forge “a much more interconnected” relationship between the company’s monthly movie theater subscription service and the film production business it launched last year, MoviePass Films, according to a statement released Wednesday. The company will make the films it produces available to MoviePass subscribers, which it hopes will both increase the film’s box office potential, and lead to an expansion of the subscription service itself.

As part of this plan, the company says MoviePass Films will accelerate production of projects for theatrical release, and increase distribution deals for retail, home video, and transactional and international sales. The company says it will also emphasize “technology development,” and stepped up fraud prevention efforts.

The effort will be supported by MoviePass’ Moviefone advertising and information service.

“We have gained a tremendous amount of insight into moviegoers and the industry over this past year and a half,” MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said in a statement. “MoviePass subscription, MoviePass Films and Moviefone 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 – films that consumers often wait to see much later through streaming services.”

“By 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 MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics, continued. “We’ve taken a deep dive to understand our unique ecosystem and I believe we’re now ready to move forward at a rapid pace. I see this as an exciting time for MoviePass and its sister companies, because we’re taking our original vision for subscription, altering it for the better, and proceeding with significant clarity.”

This is only the latest shakeup at the struggling company.

In December, the company announced it would implement a tiered version of its subscription service. That move capped a tumultuous late 2018 in which Helios and Matheson reported that it lost $137.2 million in the third quarter of 2018, MoviePass canceled a proposed reverse stock split to prevent a NASDAC de-listing, and the company announced plans to spin-off MoviePass to create a new subsidiary that would become a separate publicly-traded company.

MoviePass’s new business model comes as a result of the planned spin off. The company believes that its future growth relies on its ability to maximize audience reach, 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).

MoviePass has a number of films in its pipeline, after having co-released “Border” and “Monsters and Men” last year with Neon. MoviePass has finished filming on the Mel Gibson film “Boss Level,” and also has the horror film “The Reckoning,” the Bruce Willis and Michael Chiklis action film “10 Minutes Gone” and Al Pacino and Meadow Williams’ “Axis Sally.”