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MoviePass Tries to Survive by Raising Price, Blocking Major Studio Films for First Two Weeks of Release

MoviePass is hoping to avoid death by introducing some new steps it hopes will prevent cash burn rate by 60%.

“Avengers: Infinity War”

MoviePass is trying to stay alive by introducing some new changes it hopes will reduce its cash burn rate by 60%. The first change is an alteration to the company’s subscription price. Within the next 30 days, MoviePass will start charging new subscribers $14.95 per month to use its services, up from the previous $9.95 per month fee.

The second change was introduced over the weekend when users realized all screenings of “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” were blocked from purchasing tickets at venues that allow MoviePass. As previously reported, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe met with staff on July 30 to introduce a plan to block access to major new releases. Now the company has confirmed the decision, which will make nearly all Hollywood blockbusters (and any movie that debuts on at least 1,000 screens) unavailable during their first two weeks of release.

July has been an incredibly rocky month for the fledgling MoviePass.  On the evening of July 26, MoviePass went dark because it ran out of money. The company had to borrow $5 million in cash to get the service back online. MoviePass was up and running July 27, but it was not providing tickets to “Mission: Impossible – Fallout.” The next films expected to be blocked on MoviePass are August releases “Christopher Robin” and “The Meg.”

The MoviePass app went dark again on July 30,  with some users trying to access the service receiving a notification that read, “There are no more screenings at this theater today.” According to Deadline, the app went dead at most major movie theaters except for Landmark Theaters. The service is back up and running with the new changes added in hopes to keep the company afloat.

“Over the past year, we challenged an entrenched industry while maintaining the financially transparent records of a publicly traded company,” said Ted Farnsworth, CEO and Chairman of MoviePass’ parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics. He believes the latest adjustments will result in “lower funding needs in the future.”

Blocking major studio tentpoles for the first two weeks of release is the most drastic change MoviePass has introduced. The company reported earlier this summer it had brought in over $1 million in ticket sales for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Incredibles 2,” “Deadpool 2,” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” These numbers would be lower had the titles been blocked.

“These changes are meant to protect the longevity of our company and prevent abuse of the service,” said Lowe. “While no one likes change, these are essential steps to continue providing the most attractive subscription service in the industry. Our community has shown an immense amount of enthusiasm over the past year, and we trust that they will continue to share our vision to reinvigorate the movie industry.”

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