It’s easy to look back on MoviePass‘s short but impressive reign over the moviegoing experience with nostalgia and a sense of emptiness. It was, after all, too good to last. The monthly subscription service has its flaws, but it wanted to be successful so badly! And it was! Until it wasn’t. And the former CEO feels your pain.
Mitch Lowe, who took over the company in 2017, is releasing a new memoir detailing what exactly went wrong at the once beloved company. “It truly was embarrassing and hurtful,” Lowe said, looking back. “I tried as hard as I could, but I should have tried harder. I should have been more thoughtful, and I should have been more strategic. But I’ve got to live with that.” MoviePass slashed its prices to allow users to see a movie a day for less than $10 a month, which was just too good to be true.
Loew recalled, “The idea behind it was to raise our awareness within the entertainment community. We were desperately trying to build allies. But everything was happening too fast to be able to make well-thought out decisions on where to spend money and what the ultimate benefit would be.”
Lowe says that if they had more resources and most important money, they would have been able to get their act together. “Given enough time and given enough money and some good luck here and there, we could have been a success,” he explained. “But in any plan, you need to be flexible. In hindsight, I didn’t change things fast enough. I was just heads-down trying to solve that day’s issues.”
Despite the issues, Lowe is well aware that the company wouldn’t have made it through the pandemic, so perhaps it’s better that the company went bankrupt beforehand. On the bright side, MoviePass is slated to return in 2022, with some modern adjustments (and a pricer model). Hey, they can’t possibly make the same mistakes twice, can they?