Mark Wahlberg’s production company is setting its sights on a docuseries that will detail the rise and fall of MoviePass, the ill-fated subscription service for theater tickets that shut down in 2019.
Deadline reported on Thursday that Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas, Assemble Media, and Insider (formerly Business Insider) were teaming up to develop the limited docuseries. Per Deadline, the untitled show is based on Insider reporter Jason Guerrasio’s coverage of the rise and fall of the company. Guerrasio’s reports chronicled MoviePass’ explosive growth in 2017 after offering unlimited theatrical movies for just $9.95 a month, through its public downfall.
“Employing a sexy price to turbo-charge subscriber growth, the investors who took over the company sought the rapid success experienced by high-flying startups like WeWork and Uber. But through over-the-top parties, inexplicable mismanagement, and questionable behind-the-scenes deals, the new leadership of MoviePass slowly alienated its customers and shuttered its service just two years after its surge into the zeitgeist,” the projects producers told Deadline.
MoviePass, which offered unlimited movie tickets for $9.99 a month at one point, was founded in 2011 and briefly surged in popularity after analytics firm Helios and Matheson purchased a majority stake in the company in 2017. MoviePass’ attempts to earn a profit were disastrous, and the company was embroiled in numerous public controversies, which ranged from film blackouts and changing account passwords to keep subscribers locked out to a highly-publicized battle with AMC Theatres. At its peak, MoviePass had over three million subscribers; by April 2019, it had only 225,000 subscribers. The company shuttered its service in 2019.
Deadline reported that the upcoming docuseries will feature firsthand accounts from MoviePass founders who watched the company they built be destroyed by Wall Street greed, as well as company insiders, industry experts, and MoviePass’s users and younger employees. Insider, Unrealistic Ideas’ Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, and Archie Gips will executive-produce alongside Assemble Media’s Jack Heller and Scott Veltri.
“There’s only one way to tell the unabridged story of MoviePass properly, and that’s through the eyes of Stacy [Spikes] and Hamet [Watt], the innovators who conceived it,” Gips told Deadline. “They built it from nothing, and then were told their services were no longer needed.”