STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Your MoviePass questions, answered

After months of turmoil and speculation, the popular subscription-based movie ticketing service ...

Posted: Aug 3, 2018 9:54 AM
Updated: Aug 3, 2018 9:54 AM

After months of turmoil and speculation, the popular subscription-based movie ticketing service MoviePass appears to be on its last legs.

Subscriptions boomed when MoviePass introduced a flat rate of $9.95 last summer. But majority owner Helios and Matheson Analytics warned in April that it needed more funding, and the stock won't stop falling.

Now MoviePass is raising prices and cutting access to blockbuster movies.

So what's next for the service and how will this affect its subscribers? Here's what we know so far.

1. Is MoviePass going out of business?

To be determined. MoviePass has been burning through cash in recent months paying for the movie tickets of its more than 3 million subscribers.

Analysts have questioned whether it can stay in business. The stock of Helios and Matheson has fallen more than 99% since last fall.

So while MoviePass is technically still in business, the future of the service is in serious doubt.

Related: MoviePass: 'Talk of our demise is greatly exaggerated'

2. Why are MoviePass prices going up?

MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe, however, is much more optimistic about the company's future.

"Today, the company has implemented several elements of a long-term growth plan to protect the existing community and set it up for future sustainable growth," he told CNNMoney in an email.

The "elements" include a price increase to $14.95 a month from $9.95 within the next 30 days.

MoviePass is hoping that this will stem the bleeding. It has been blowing through $20 million to $40 million each month, according to regulatory filings.

3. Why are some movies not available on MoviePass?

This is another cost-cutting measure.

First run films opening on 1,000 or more screens will be limited in their availability for the first two weeks, MoviePass said on Tuesday. It's not clear just how "limited" those films will be to users, but the company did say that big films will be made available on a promotional basis.

Subscribers are already seeing the effects of the new restrictions. "Mission: Impossible — Fallout," which opened last Thursday, was unavailable for some customers over the weekend.

Related: MoviePass introduces surge pricing

4. Why is my MoviePass not working?

MoviePass had a service outage last Thursday because, well, it couldn't pay for tickets.

Helios and Matheson missed a payment to one of its fulfillment processors, and that contractor temporarily refused to process payments for MoviePass. This prompted the company to borrow $5 million in cash to pay its bills.

MoviePass had more outages over the weekend. The company tweeted an apology to its users on Saturday saying that it was "working towards a fix on this technical issue."

Related: MoviePass is raising its price and cutting access to blockbusters

5. What happens if MoviePass goes under?

It's possible that MoviePass could weather its problems, but it will be difficult to bounce back at this point. Lowe told told CNNMoney on Tuesday that the price increase and movie restrictions are "essential" to keeping the service alive for its users.

"Our community of more than 3 million members 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," he said.

Even if MoviePass shuts down, the service has already inspired similar deals that appear to be thriving.

AMC Theatres, the largest movie chain in America, announced in June that it was creating its own monthly plan for $20. AMC's service has enrolled 175,000 members after five weeks. That's ahead of expectations, according to the company, which hopes to have 1 million members by June 2020.

6. What does MoviePass have to say about all this?

"Talk of our demise is greatly exaggerated."

That's how MoviePass responded on Thursday to reports of its problems. It also said that it is an industry pioneer that is responsible for as much as 6% of the movie industry's total box office receipts.

"Exhibitors know that without MoviePass they will be able to continue to charge exorbitant prices for theater tickets and gouge customers with overpriced concessions," the company said. "This is exactly the attitude the taxicab industry took when Uber entered their market."

The company did admit that it is "going through a rough patch not unlike what other disruptive enterprises experienced in their early days."

Helios and Matheson stock closed at 10 cents on Thursday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 517138

Reported Deaths: 10306
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35086559
DeSoto33512432
Hinds32826644
Jackson24938392
Rankin22621405
Lee16564245
Madison14986283
Jones14195248
Forrest13865260
Lauderdale12343323
Lowndes11401193
Lamar10715140
Pearl River9762244
Lafayette8898143
Hancock7854132
Washington7562169
Oktibbeha7246138
Monroe7106179
Pontotoc7071110
Warren6915179
Panola6815136
Neshoba6762210
Marshall6751142
Bolivar6484151
Union647099
Alcorn5969108
Pike5953157
Lincoln5550136
George511380
Prentiss511086
Tippah498483
Itawamba4916107
Scott479599
Tate4790118
Adams4789125
Leflore4765144
Copiah458995
Simpson4587117
Yazoo458692
Wayne444372
Covington435895
Sunflower4338106
Marion4313112
Coahoma4263111
Leake414491
Newton396482
Tishomingo390294
Grenada3799109
Stone366466
Attala342290
Jasper341667
Chickasaw320867
Winston319092
Clay314378
Clarke302095
Calhoun289550
Holmes273789
Smith271452
Yalobusha246547
Tallahatchie233153
Greene225549
Walthall222266
Lawrence221142
Perry214656
Amite210657
Webster207248
Noxubee188943
Montgomery182857
Carroll176341
Jefferson Davis175043
Tunica164139
Benton153539
Kemper145641
Choctaw138027
Claiborne134939
Humphreys132639
Franklin127130
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106539
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849409

Reported Deaths: 16199
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1165042004
Mobile744951384
Madison53605739
Shelby38474373
Baldwin38236590
Tuscaloosa36225644
Montgomery34599784
Lee25712264
Calhoun22652520
Morgan22569411
Etowah20084521
Marshall18878318
Houston17806426
St. Clair16987359
Limestone16220222
Cullman16183306
Elmore15967295
Lauderdale15126308
Talladega14275302
DeKalb13099271
Walker12202380
Blount10803193
Autauga10566157
Jackson10237196
Coffee9447192
Colbert9396210
Dale9052192
Tallapoosa7291202
Russell711965
Chilton7101171
Covington6985197
Escambia6972146
Franklin6379108
Chambers5815142
Marion5451132
Dallas5307210
Pike5135109
Clarke485986
Lawrence4857130
Winston4804111
Geneva4658137
Bibb436795
Barbour370880
Butler3446101
Marengo342593
Monroe338666
Randolph338567
Pickens335590
Fayette332785
Henry321566
Cherokee321264
Hale320289
Crenshaw262278
Washington256952
Cleburne255460
Lamar253755
Clay253169
Macon246667
Conecuh193962
Coosa186248
Lowndes178468
Wilcox178338
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130845
Choctaw94928
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Columbus
Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 42°
Oxford
Mostly Cloudy
39° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 36°
Starkville
Mostly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 42°
Temperatures return closer to normal for Wednesday with the shower staying south of us for the middle of the week, but rain chances start returning Thursday and could include thunderstorms, some possibly strong by Friday late in the day.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather