Cinema goers sit in their seats at a Vue Entertainment Ltd. cinema in London, U.K. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

MoviePass CEO Hopes Subscribers Will Use Service Less Frequently

(Bloomberg) -- MoviePass Inc.’s Mitch Lowe is facing an unusual challenge for a tech CEO: getting customers to use the service less.

To break even, the embattled movie-subscription program is hoping the majority of its 3 million-plus users will see only one film a month, Lowe said on Bloomberg Television. The company also is looking to generate additional revenue through advertising, studio partnerships, and a night-at-the-movies concept that includes baby sitting and dinner service, he said.

MoviePass was previously pitched as an “unlimited” service that let customers go to the movies every day for $9.95 a month. But the money-losing company adjusted its formula several times and this week limited customers to just three films per month.

“We are confident this is the last big change,” Lowe said.

MoviePass has said that 85 percent of subscribers already see three or fewer movies a month, so the policy change will have little effect on most customers. The average is already approaching one per month, Lowe said. He expects the company to break even within a year.

Investors remain skeptical. Shares of MoviePass’s parent, Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., have lost more than 99 percent of their value this year amid concerns that the subscription service will run out of money. Helios & Matheson was forced to obtain an emergency loan last month in order to pay its bills and continue providing service to customers.

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