The big online movie ticketseller Fandango today reported a huge 127% increase in ticket sales for first quarter 2012 compared to last year. That breaks the company record and is the best ever in the company’s nearly 12-year history. It also underscores the red-hot box office and shows how moviegoers are buying their tickets online via their computers, smart phones, and tablets. Fandango also reported a 58% year-over-year increase in monthly visitors (totaling 33 million), and a 23% surge in its top quarterly mobile percentage of total tickets sold. In turn, Fandango said it expanded exhibitor reach in the first quarter by 19%, with recent deals with AMC Theatres, Regency Theatres and other chains. It now sells tickets to nearly 20,000 screens nationwide. Fandango also said it recently signed a partnership deal with Yahoo, becoming the movie ticketing provider for all of the network’s sites. And Fandango also just launched a Facebook Timeline app dubbed “Movies with Friends” to help drive new traffic and fan engagement because it allows Fandango friends to share their moviegoing activities in real time. EVP/GM Rick Butler in a statement credited blockbusters like The Hunger Games for the increases.  Fandango sold 22% of the March blockbuster’s opening weekend box office and, during peak periods, sold 60,000 tickets per hour.

Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.