The spectacular rise and fall of MoviePass

The company transforming the way people watch movies may not be around long enough to reap its own benefits.

MoviePass majority shareholder Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. HMNY, +1.68% was on top of the world last October, its share price shooting up to $32.90 from $2.50 in less than a month. The company had just amassed a large stake in the MoviePass service, which, under the Helios umbrella, was rapidly adding new members and winning praise from investors who saw the service as the next big thing in film viewing.

Helios & Matheson was a sleepy data analytics company when it acquired MoviePass, a service with just 20,000 subscribers at the time.

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