Entertainment

Oh, Hell Yeah: MoviePass Will Relaunch Next Year

The wild movie-subscription service that flamed out in 2019 is coming back in a new form.

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Hollywood loves a comeback story. After coming to a glorious end in 2019, MoviePass, the scandal-plagued company that briefly allowed its movie-obsessed customers to see as many movies as they could in theaters for a monthly fee, is lurching back to life. The new version of the much-discussed app will reportedly debut next year.

As with all things MoviePass, there’s more to the story than meets the eye. According to Insider, MoviePass cofounder Stacy Spikes has gained control of the previously dormant company by placing a bid of an “undisclosed amount to the trustee handling the bankruptcy of Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY), the former parent company of MoviePass.” A Southern District of New York bankruptcy court judge signed off on the sale this week. It all sounds very Billions.

“I can confirm that we acquired MoviePass out of bankruptcy on Wednesday,” Spikes told Insider in a statement. “We are thrilled to have it back and are exploring the possibility of relaunching soon. Our pursuit to reclaim the brand was encouraged by the continued interest from the moviegoing community. We believe, if done properly, theatrical subscription can play an instrumental role in lifting moviegoing attendance to new heights.”

In its previous iteration, the owners of MoviePass often claimed it would eventually leverage its access to customer data and analytics to become a sustainable business, but, according to Spikes, custom data and email addresses were “not part of the sale.”

So, what does this mean for the MoviePass faithful? Could we potentially see a return to that brief period in 2017 and 2018 when the too-good-to-be-true business model appeared to be working (at least for the customers) and letting people see countless movies at a wildly reduced price? Much like investing money in MoviePass, predicting the future of MoviePass is a dangerous game.

There’s obviously still an appetite for movie theater subscription plans-theater chains have their own versions like AMC’s A-List and in October the streaming service Mubi unveiled MubiGo, which will let viewers check out one movie-a-week on screens-but the initial promise of MoviePass, which involved the company footing the bill for an absurd number of tickets, remains financially shaky.

For now, a new MoviePass site has launched at iwantmoviepass.com. (The red logo is gone now, replaced with a black background.) If you want to recapture the rush of going to see Gotti, the John Travolta movie MoviePass invested in, enter your email address to be notified when the company officially launches.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Dan Jackson is a senior staff writer at Thrillist Entertainment. He’s on Twitter @danielvjackson.

Entertainment

Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.

Victoria

Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.

Queensland

BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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