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MoviePass is shutting down. Discount service to bring the curtain down this week

Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

MoviePass, the service that allowed film buffs to catch flicks at a discount, will stop operating this week and may not return, according to its owner.

The film ticket app will stop operating as of Sept. 14, according to Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., the firm that owns roughly 92% of its shares because "its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,'' the firm said in a statement. "The company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue."

It's an abrupt but not an altogether unexpected ending for the service, which once had millions of subscribers drawn to the prospect of being able to see as many films as they wanted for $10 a month, but then teetered in the wake of a series of setbacks.

The most recent issue surfaced in August, when website TechCrunch reported that debit card numbers belonging to MoviePass subscribers, along with other personal information had been exposed.

A security researcher told TechCrunch that he'd found an unencrypted list that revealed the debit card numbers, expiration dates, and personal addresses for millions of MoviePass customers.

The company said in a statement at the time that it had recently discovered a security lapse and that the system was quickly secured.

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When it first launched, MoviePass was a magnet for film fans who were able to subscribe and see as many movies as they wanted during the month for less than what many filmgoers paid for a ticket to a single screening.

But eventually, the service started getting more expensive, began boosting prices during certain highly coveted times, and controversially started re-enrolling long time customers in new services without their permission.

Subscribers were alerted Friday that MoviePass was going to cease operating. Helios and Matheson Analytics said in its statement that it is considering selling the company, getting rid of individual assets like MoviePass and Moviefone, or possibly reorganizing.


This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: It may be curtains for MoviePass: Ticket discounting site is suspended