Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

MoviePass rises from its grave to share mysterious countdown clock

The iconic MoviePass pillows from Utah’s MoviePass house in 2018
The iconic MoviePass pillows from Utah’s MoviePass house in 2018
Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for MoviePass

Some ideas are too good to stay dead, even ideas that were articulated so poorly that they deserved to die and should just be dead forever—like the DMC DeLorean, the Sega Nomad, and Universal’s Dark Universe. All of these ideas lived for an extremely short time, but while they did, they burned so bright that their images are seared onto the eyeballs of every person who ever pinned their hopes on a beautiful, impossible dream. This is what life is about: Taking chances, reaching as far as you can and then reaching even further, and convincing people to give you a ton of money without really figuring out the smartest way to actually use it.

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Anyway, MoviePass is apparently coming back. As reported by Variety, a mysterious website with an equally mysterious countdown clock popped up today at a new MoviePass website (MoviePass.ventures, which is… a red flag, but more on that later), ticking down the hours until Monday, March 22. The site, featuring the classic MoviePass logo—which you’ll remember from two years ago, when MoviePass was still a thing—and “the movie is about to start.” Seems kind of straightforward, right? Something MoviePass-related is coming on Monday, probably some fucked-up, horribly compromised version of the service that was really, really good for about five minutes before theater chains started to panic and force restrictions on the service. (This was pre-COVID, obviously, when movie theaters set their aspirations a little higher than “please, just let us survive for another month.”)

This is MoviePass we’re talking about, though, so it can’t possibly be anything straightforward. Variety did some digging, and it turns out that the people who made MoviePass—including former CEO Mitch Lowe and former chairman Ted Farnsworth—are not involved in anyway. Plus, parent company Helios And Matheson Analytics declared bankruptcy a while back and tried to sell off what was left of MoviePass back in 2020 (potentially for as low as $250,000). So Variety doesn’t know who owns MoviePass now, other than that it’s not the people who owned it originally.

That’s why the odd URL sticks out. The “.ventures” domain doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of excitement, since it’s not the kind of thing you normally see a public-facing entertainment company use. Also, nobody likes mysterious countdowns. They’re frustrating and they always end in disappointment, even if they seem really exciting when you first see one. Hey, just like MoviePass! (On a related note: If this is just a teaser for the MoviePass documentary series, we’re going to scream into our MoviePass-branded pillows.)