As anyone who tried to use subscription movie service MoviePass to duck into the theaters this holiday weekend—and we’re aware that that’s a proposition that hinges on so many hypotheticals at this point that it might as well be non-existent—already knows, the company’s service “went dark” on Thursday morning. The purported reason: Updating its app, a process that will apparently take “a few weeks” to complete, and is in no way related to wanting to avoid getting yelled at for ducking out on some of the busiest movie-going weekends of the year.
“There’s never a good time to have to do this,” CEO Mitch Lowe wrote to subscribers, sounding for all the world like a parent informing a child that it’s time for their beloved pet/ludicrously cheap way to get movie tickets to be sent to a farm somewhere upstate, the kind with lots of room to run and visits available only on at non-peak scheduling hours. “But to complete the improved version of our app,” Lowe added, tears probably-not welling up in his eyes, “One that we believe will provide a much better experience for our subscribers, it has to be done.” It’s not clear exactly when the service will be back or what upgrades or changes it’ll feature when it does, but Lowe did make it clear that users would be credited for days when it was unavailable, and that new subscriptions are currently blocked.
Reports that Lowe will end up asking MoviePass subscribers to take the service out into the shed out back and finish it off themselves—thus completing the transition into the grim realities of the adult world, where selling a commodity for less than you paid for it somehow fails to be a clear-cut money-making strategy—remain apocryphal at present.