MoviePass, the controversial service that lets customers attend a movie every day for $9.95 a month, surpassed 1 million subscribers, putting pressure on its owners to find a way to make a profit.
Since unveiling its new price in August, MoviePass's subscriber base has increased more than 65-fold, according to a statement Wednesday from parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc.
MoviePass pays cinema owners full price for tickets -- about $15 each in some cities -- meaning it loses money on every sale. It plans to make up the difference by selling ads and possibly negotiating a cut of concessions from exhibitors. The losses and funding needs raise doubt about whether MoviePass will be able to continue as a going concern, Helios & Matheson said last month in a filing.
Whatever happens, the service has rattled the theater industry, which sees MoviePass's aggressive price as cheapening the moviegoing experience. The chain Cinemark Holdings Inc., responding to the new threat, began offering an $8.99-a-month service earlier in December that lets subscribers see one film a month. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. has also suggested it might pursue a subscription service.