ClickStar Down; Hoping on a Sale

Poor Morgan Freeman can’t get a break lately; he’s getting a divorce, was in a serious car crash, and now it comes out his online movie service is non-operational. ClickStar, launched in 2006, released movies like 10 Items or Less and Lonely Hearts soon after their theatrical debut, but as a result theaters shunned films that partnered with the site.

Variety reports today that ClickStar told its content providers in April that it was exploring a sale. An excerpt from the letter:

“Over the last twelve months, our vision for broadband distribution has been confirmed by the marketplace,” chief technical officer Sam Edge wrote, citing download sites launched by Amazon, Blockbuster, and Wal-Mart. “With the entry of these well-funded players into our space…it has become increasingly clear that ClickStar needs to align itself with a key partner to operate within the larger ecosystem and serve our core audience…We have decided to partner or sell ClickStar…”

Nothing public has come of that letter, but the closed-down ClickStar site sports a cheery away message: “The ClickStar site is currently unavailable. Please check back with us in the next few days for some exciting news!” We don’t know how long that message has been up. (The Internet Archive hasn’t indexed the site since last year.)

The news also came out today that Starz’ Vongo, which coincidentally launched at the same CES show as ClickStar in 2006, will also shut down. The forgiving interpretation would be to say it was too early for these services — and that’s probably true. They also didn’t have the clout to offer more extensive libraries.