MovieBeam was first started by Disney, which spent around $70 millions in trying to get it to be profitable. Eventually, the Mickey Mouse company sold the service to Movie Gallery for $10 million, with the latter adding another $40 million to recapitalize it.

But all the efforts were in vain and the project just couldn’t attract enough customers. The first drawback was the high costs associated with MovieBeam: customers first had to spend $250 for the set-top box and an additional $30 as an activation fee. The movies were available for prices between $1.99 and $3.99, with HD content valued $1 more.

Second, the service just couldn’t expand as much as it actually needed. MovieBeam only worked with an antenna connected to a set-top box and was only available in 31 metropolitan areas, a figure that Movie Gallery wasn’t able to improve. Not using the Internet proved to be fatal for the service, as similar project like Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Unbox or NetFlix.

Rumor has it that MovieBeam might give it another shot in the online world, a move that would anything but surprising.