Four days. That’s the all-too-short amount of time we all lived in a world in which we could finally stop thinking about MoviePass, the movie ticket subscription company that changed the game in Hollywood but quickly shat the bed because of epic mismanagement within the company. But those four blissful days were interrupted this morning by the company shooting its zombified hand up through its grave, grasping wildly for air as it tries to claw its way back to the land of the living once again.
Ted Farnsworth, the financier and former CEO of MoviePass’s parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics, has submitted an offer to buy Helios & Matheson and its subsidiaries – which, yes, includes MoviePass, MoviePass Films, MoviePass Ventures, and Moviefone. Good grief.
Just when we thought we were done with MoviePass forever, Farnsworth is trying to pull us all back in by buying the company and restoring it to its ever-so-brief former glory. Variety reports that he stepped down from his roles in the company to avoid any conflict of interest, but he still feels like the idea for the movie ticket subscription service is valid:
“I believe there is great unrealized value in MoviePass and we want to rebuild and make sure it reaches its full potential. I have always believed in the business model and the brand [former MoviePass CEO] Mitch Lowe and I built at MoviePass. There’s tremendous appetite for movie theater ticket subscription.”
Here’s the thing: that appetite may exist, but I’m not convinced it exists for MoviePass anymore. At this point, it’s a brand that has been tainted almost beyond compare as Mitch Lowe tanked the company into the ground by ordering employees to change the passwords of heavy users without their knowledge to impede them from using the service, and inadvertently exposing thousands of customers’ card numbers. Business Insider wrote an extensive article detailing the company’s downfall through its godawful spending habits, and it’s worth reading if you want to know what was going on behind the scenes there.
“We presided over the investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to build MoviePass and its family of companies,” Farnsworth said in a statement. “We are proud of what we built over the past two years and have no intention of walking away now. I believe in the company’s future and look forward to regaining the confidence of our members and former customers.”
Normally I would say something like “best of luck,” but in this case, I genuinely hope Farnsworth’s offer is not accepted and MoviePass slides back into its grave for good. Just give it up. It’s done. Move on.
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