Oh, Hell Yeah: MoviePass Will Relaunch Next Year

The wild movie-subscription service that flamed out in 2019 is coming back in a new form.

moviepass
MoviePass House Park City during Sundance 2018 | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
MoviePass House Park City during Sundance 2018 | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Hollywood loves a comeback story. After coming to a glorious end in 2019, MoviePass, the scandal-plagued company that briefly allowed its movie-obsessed customers to see as many movies as they could in theaters for a monthly fee, is lurching back to life. The new version of the much-discussed app will reportedly debut next year.

As with all things MoviePass, there's more to the story than meets the eye. According to Insider, MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes has gained control of the previously dormant company by placing a bid of an "undisclosed amount to the trustee handling the bankruptcy of Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), the former parent company of MoviePass." A Southern District of New York bankruptcy court judge signed off on the sale this week. It all sounds very Billions.

"I can confirm that we acquired MoviePass out of bankruptcy on Wednesday," Spikes told Insider in a statement. "We are thrilled to have it back and are exploring the possibility of relaunching soon. Our pursuit to reclaim the brand was encouraged by the continued interest from the moviegoing community. We believe, if done properly, theatrical subscription can play an instrumental role in lifting moviegoing attendance to new heights."

In its previous iteration, the owners of MoviePass often claimed it would eventually leverage its access to customer data and analytics to become a sustainable business, but, according to Spikes, custom data and email addresses were "not part of the sale."

So, what does this mean for the MoviePass faithful? Could we potentially see a return to that brief period in 2017 and 2018 when the too-good-to-be-true business model appeared to be working (at least for the customers) and letting people see countless movies at a wildly reduced price? Much like investing money in MoviePass, predicting the future of MoviePass is a dangerous game.

There's obviously still an appetite for movie theater subscription plans—theater chains have their own versions like AMC's A-List and in October the streaming service Mubi unveiled MubiGo, which will let viewers check out one movie-a-week on screens—but the initial promise of MoviePass, which involved the company footing the bill for an absurd number of tickets, remains financially shaky.

For now, a new MoviePass site has launched at iwantmoviepass.com. (The red logo is gone now, replaced with a black background.) If you want to recapture the rush of going to see Gotti, the John Travolta movie MoviePass invested in, enter your email address to be notified when the company officially launches.

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Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He's on Twitter @danielvjackson.