HBO’s upcoming MoviePass documentary is a must-watch for fans of tech trainwrecks

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The rise and fall of MoviePass is one of those stories just begging for the documentary treatment and, well, HBO has got you covered. The platform just set a premiere date of May 29 for MoviePass, MovieCrash, a documentary helmed by filmmaker Muta’Ali and produced by none other than Mark Wahlberg.

The film chronicles the “meteoric rise and stranger-than-fiction implosion” of the movie ticket subscription platform, which originally set the world on fire when it first launched back in 2011. However, it wasn’t long before the company realized that the “all you can eat” approach that works so well with gyms and other membership clubs is a weird fit for movie theaters, particularly at the service’s low price point. In just eight years, the company went from the fastest growing subscription service since Spotify to total bankruptcy.

As the trailer shows, the documentary will feature interviews with many of the major players involved in the various stages of MoviePass. This includes original co-founder Stacy Spikes and former CEO Mitch Lowe. There will also be plenty of interviews with journalists who covered the service, FTC personnel and former subscribers. Incidentally, the trailer promises an anecdote in which a customer sent a box of feces to the MoviePass offices, and we don’t want to miss that.

Though premiering on HBO at 9PM ET on May 29, the documentary will also be available on-demand via Max. Director Muta’Ali has made a few good documentaries, including Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn and Cassius X: Becoming Ali.

As for MoviePass, well, it’s a long and complicated story. The app captured the hearts of theater-goers in 2011 by promising unlimited trips to the cinema for a single monthly subscription fee. The love affair didn’t last. The company ceased operations in 2019 and filed for bankruptcy in 2020. Between those dates, there have been reports of wire fraud, securities fraud and significant data breaches, among other outlandish scenarios. In short, it’s perfect fodder for a documentary.

MoviePass is actually still around. Co-founder Spikes recently bought the company’s assets, brought on new investors and re-launched the service. However, the updated pricing model is on the confusing side, with credits and tiers, and seems to have not captured lightning in a bottle for the second time.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/hbos-upcoming-moviepass-documentary-is-a-must-watch-for-fans-of-tech-trainwrecks-184923511.html?src=rss Read More

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