MoviePass Turns to Online Merchandise Store as Financial Troubles Mount
More than three million film fans have subscribed to MoviePass, a seven-year-old ticketing service that, for a $9.95 monthly fee, allows said aficionados to see a movie each day. As with many companies, though, times are tough for the subscription service, and its overseers are looking to establish a happy plot and not a tearjerking tale as they map out their brainchild’s future. As a means to alleviate financial stress and attract more allegiance to big screen-based entertainment, MoviePass recently launched an online merchandise store, with pun-heavy names adorning the items.
Another milestone reached! pic.twitter.com/P9VQhQv92E
— MoviePass (@MoviePass) June 13, 2018
A CNN account of MoviePass's recent financial woes noted that the service costs a hefty sum for parent company Helios and Matheson to operate, and that the entity is looking to sell $1.2 billion in stock and debt securities. Come the end of the year, MoviePass hopes to add another two million subscribers, and is looking for more fiscal leverage by investing in movies as sort of a production partner. But while those hopes are admirable and certainly worth our attention, we are more inclined to break out the popcorn to see how the merchandise idea unfolds.
Gizmodo offered a snarky look at what MoviePass is hoping to achieve through its new, online apparel offering, deriding it for what it considers horrible wordplay affiliated with the items. (Its decision to dub a cap “Hat Damon,” after Academy Award-winning actor/producer/screenwriter Matt Damon, won zero favor with the Gizmodo crew.) The piece’s author flat out surmises that “Selling hats and mugs isn’t going to save MoviePass,” but it would be foolish to presume that Helios and Matheson are envisioning the merchandise as a thread-based messiah or a drinkware-centric redeemer. Instead, it could prove a very reliable supporting character in the quest to draw more revenue, especially if MoviePass makes good on a statement it gave to Business Insider through which it said, “We will continue to expand store offerings and products and also provide timely merchandise tied to movies and titles which may be marketed in particular to some subscribers based on their tastes.”
Hmm, that sounds somewhat compelling, especially since MoviePass has already given a plug to “Black Panther” by issuing hoodies and assorted shirts surrounding the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures film, which ended up a mega hit. With the rest of 2018 promising some lucrative releases, the struggling Helios and Matheson service could market some very fetching products while working on its attempts to nab more subscribers and back more movies through its MoviePass Ventures distribution arm. With the debt dilemma that it has, such success could produce a respectable Part II, so to speak, for MoviePass’s entertainment industry presence.