Insider reported last November that MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes had bought the company back after its parent company, Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), went bankrupt. Since then Spikes and his team have been diligently working on a relaunch of the popular service.
MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes. J. Countess/Getty
Beginning at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, a waitlist will open on moviepass.com for those wishing to join the beta version.
The waitlist will be open for five days on a first come, first served basis. It will be free to sign up with MoviePass — all that’s required is an email address and zip code. Once the waitlist closes, the initial group of beta users will be notified on Labor Day (September 5) and will be offered three price tiers to choose from.
Prices will vary depending on the user’s home market, but general pricing will be $10, $20, or $30 a month. Each subscription option will give the user a number of credits to use each month to see movies. There won’t be an unlimited option during the beta version.
Users who make the cut for the beta will also be given 10 friend invites to use MoviePass.
According to MoviePass, the service has partnerships with 25% of theaters in the US. Users of the beta version will be able to order movie tickets through the app or can wait for their MoviePass card to come in the mail and use that at any theater box office that accepts MasterCard.
The card will be black, as MoviePass is scrapping its previous red branding. Insider was given an exclusive first look at what the card will look like:
MoviePass has a new look with a black card. MoviePass.
Spikes founded MoviePass with Hamet Watt in 2011, creating a service that let moviegoers see a certain number of movies each month in theaters for a monthly fee. After struggling to stay afloat for years, the company in 2017 was bought by HMNY.
Under the leadership of HMNY CEO Ted Farnsworth and new MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, the company launched a $10 a month subscription price to see a movie a day. Within two days, subscriptions went from 20,000 to 100,000. In less than a year, MoviePass had over 3 million subscribers.
With Farnsworth and Lowe at the helm, MoviePass blew through hundreds of millions of dollars, and Spikes — who said he’d raised concerns internally about the sustainability of the $10 price point — was fired in 2018.
Former MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, left, and former Helios and Matheson Analytics CEO Ted Farnsworth. Getty / Dave Kotinsky / Stringer
HMNY was delisted from the Nasdaq in 2019 and both MoviePass and HMNY filed for bankruptcy in 2020. At the time of MoviePass’ bankruptcy filing, the company said it was under pending investigations by the FTC, SEC, four California district attorneys, and the New York attorney general.
This June, Farnsworth and Lowe settled with the FTC and reached a $400,000 settlement with the California district attorneys.
Mark Wahlberg’s non-fiction production company Unrealistic Ideas is currently developing a documentary on the rise and fall of MoviePass based on award-winning reporting by Insider.