MoviePass competitor Sinemia has shut down its US operations, the company said in a statement that was posted on its website on Thursday.
The abrupt end came right before the new movie “Avengers: Endgame,” which is already breaking box-office records, opens in theaters. Just recently they launched a new plan.
The company’s announcement does not address whether customers who paid for yearly plans up front would get partial refunds.
Sinemia said that its “efforts to cover the cost of unexpected legal proceedings and raise the funds required to continue operations have not been sufficient.”
Some customers filed a class-action back in November, alleging Sinemia ripped them off by introducing a new “processing fee.” MoviePass had also filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Sinemia.
Sinemia said in March that it had terminated “approximately 3 percent of its accounts due to misuse or fraudulent activity.” These customers looked line they were just using their membership more than others and were money losers for the company.
Sinemia was started in Turkey in 2014 and also operates in countries including Canada, Australia, and the UK. For now just the US operations have ceased. It’s not clear what’s going on in those other countries.
Here’s what the announcement on the website says:
Today, with a heavy heart, we’re announcing that Sinemia is closing its doors and ending operations in the US effective immediately.
As Sinemia, we set out our journey with the vision to help as many moviegoers as possible to enjoy an affordable and better experience at the movies by a creating a movie ticket subscription service that adds value for both the moviegoers and the movie industry. Since 2014, we’ve been fine-tuning our model and serving movie-goers with a slate of affordable and flexible subscription plans.
We are all witnessing that the future of moviegoing is evolving through movie ticket subscriptions. However, we didn’t see a path to sustainability as an independent movie ticket subscription service in the face of competition from movie theaters as they build their own subscriptions. Thanks to the cost advantage and cross-sell opportunities, movie theaters will be prominent in the movie ticket subscription economy.
While we are proud to have created a best in market service, our efforts to cover the cost of unexpected legal proceedings and raise the funds required to continue operations have not been sufficient. The competition in the US market and the core economics of what it costs to deliver Sinemia’s end-to-end experience ultimately lead us to the decision of discontinuing our US operations.
Despite the best efforts of our team, it has been difficult for us as a start-up to continue providing our services to the moviegoers in the US without resources and enough capital to meet increased operations and legal costs.
We want to sincerely thank our customers that believed in us and helped us along the way for their love and support.
We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to share our dream with you.