In a potentially disappointing development for film fans, MoviePass has announced that subscribers can no longer see the same movie twice.
The controversial company made the announcement Friday on its web site in a two-sentence statement.
“We recently updated our Terms of Service to reflect that MoviePass subscribers are only permitted to see a select movie in theaters once with your MoviePass,” it said. “We hope this will encourage you to see new movies and enjoy something different!”
The restriction had been in place before last August, when MoviePass cut its monthly price from $50 to $9.95. Since then, MoviePass has attracted more than 2 million subscribers. Earlier subscribers were able to see a film a day, but currently, new members are limited to four movies a month along with a free trial of iHeartRadio.
MoviePass pays most theaters full price for the tickets its subscribers buy, meaning it is heavily subsidizing movie-going — a strategy that the company acknowledges is leading to losses.
On April 18, an independent auditor raised “substantial doubt” about MoviePass’s ability to continue operating as “a going concern” in financial documents made public by Helios & Matheson Analytics, the subscription service’s parent company. In addition, Helios & Matheson revealed that it has lost $150.8 million in 2017, which it ascribed to its acquisition of MoviePass.
In the report, the company’s auditor Rosenberg Rich Baker Berman & Co. noted that Helios & Matheson “has suffered recurring losses from operations and negative cash flows from operating activities,” adding that “this raises substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
In a recent interview with Variety, MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe predicted that the company will be profitable by 2019. Helios & Matheson CEO Ted Farnsworth also said at that point that he had sufficient financial resources at his disposal to tide MoviePass over until it is in the black. He said that he had raised $280 million and secured a $375 million line of credit since buying MoviePass in August.
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