The addition of the No. 2 exhibition chain is a coup for MovieTickets.com — and a logical development following the settlement in November of the online ticketing company’s suit that charged AMC with a breach of contract when it went exclusively with Fandango. The new non-exclusive relationship adds 4,950 AMC screens to MovieTickets’ tally, for a total of more than 22,000. That “substantially increases our domestic reach” with “some of the highest grossing and busiest locations in many of the strongest markets across the country,” says MovieTickets CEO Joel Cohen. The ticketing service also has deals with Carmike Cinemas, CineMark, Cinepolis, Landmark, Rave Cinemas, and Regal. MovieTickets co-owner Hollywood Media noted in an SEC filing last year that the court agreement with AMC included a “non-exclusive ticketing agreement,” but the terms were confidential. The companies have had a rocky relationship since 2000 when they created MovieTickets as a 50-50 venture, later adding National Amusements. In 2012 Hollywood charged AMC with “unconscionable, unfair, and deceptive acts and practices” that culminated with its decision that year to move its online business exclusively to Comcast-owned Fandango. The suit added that MovieTickets’ “current viability has been threatened” by AMC, which at the time still owned 26.2% of MovieTickets. AMC said in a recent SEC filing that Fandango sold 17.2M tickets for the chain in 2012. AMC is owned by China’s Wanda Group, but …
Find yourself in a quandary over which newly released film to see on opening weekend? Movietickets.com may have have the answer. The advance online ticket seller has launched a new weekly online video series for the indecisive moviegoer. Starring YouTube’s Taryn Southern, Movie Therapy helps guide moviegoers to the film that’s right for them, connecting live and directly with fans via social media, according to MovieTickets.com. This week’s episode looks at upcoming holiday films, including Anchorman 2: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. You can check it out here.
This is curious: Carmike was a founding partner at Fandango, and last year the companies announced that they had extended their “multi-year strategic agreement.” But it appears that deal wasn’t exclusive — and Carmike wants another option. Today the chain says that it will also use Fandango’s chief rival, MovieTickets.com, to sell tickets online. Carmike is “delighted to forge this new alliance with MovieTickets.com,” the exhibition chain’s CEO David Passman says. “Carmike patrons appreciate flexibility in their advance ticket purchasing and we are pleased to be adding MovieTickets.com.” It’s highly unusual for a chain to offer two online sales options. The Boca Raton-based digital operation already serves the Rave theaters that Carmike recently bought. The new agreement will soon add Carmike’s 2,200 other screens. This is “the single largest domestic addition to our screen count since the company was founded in 2000,” MovieTickets.com CEO Joel Cohen says. “Carmike is highly influential in our industry, we are pleased they chose to join our program and collectively work with us to improve the movie going experience.”
Both Fandango and MovieTickets are reporting huge advance online sales for Universal‘s Les Misérables. Fandango says it’s the #1 advance ticket-seller among all Christmas Day releases, surpassing previous record-holder Sherlock Holmes (2009) as well as the #1 advance ticket-seller among movie musicals, surpassing previous record-holder Dreamgirls (2006). MovieTickets compiled a week-long survey and found that 52% of 4,358 poll participants said they were most excited to see the film adaptation of the global stage musical over the next three weekends. The Weinstein Company/Sony’s Django Unchained from Quentin Tarantino scored 24%, Paramount’s Jack Reacher starring Tom Cruise placed 16.5%, and Paramount’s The Guilt Trip with Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen made 7.5%. MovieTickets also asked how many movies its buyers planned on seeing over the holiday season, with 49% of the 5,132 respondents saying 1-2 films over the next three weekends, 26.6% saying 3-4 films, 17.3% saying more than 5 films, and 7.1% saying no films.
UPDATED: Fandango and MovieTickets.com are opening for business six weeks before the finale in Summit Entertainment‘s franchise is released — The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 hits theaters November 16. Advance tickets for the November 15 “Twilight Marathon”, where all five films of The Twilight Saga will be shown in order at select theaters, also go on sale October 1. Fandango recently conducted a survey on its site that found 32% of more than 1000 moviegoers picked Breaking Dawn Part 2 as their most anticipated film of the fall season.
AMC Entertainment passed up the opportunity to share its side of its dispute with MovieTickets.com before we ran our in-depth account of the fascinating behind-the-scenes story on Monday. MovieTickets and its backers — Hollywood Media and National Amusements — filed a breach of contract suit against AMC in Florida tied to its February decision to move its online ticketing business to Fandango. But the No. 2 exhibition company has had second thoughts. It provided us with a statement this evening. AMC says that it was “entitled” to terminate its ticketing arrangement with MovieTickets, which it co-founded — a claim that the venture disputes. The statement doesn’t address the many details we cited from the second amended complaint. Nor does it deal with a key charge: that AMC executives who sat on MovieTickets’ board violated their fiduciary responsibilities to their partners by privately working to undermine the venture. Here’s AMC’s response in full:
“Deadline’s recent article merely repeats the many desperate, false and unsubstantiated claims Movietickets.com has made in the litigation. The truth is AMC proposed several ways to make the relationship work for both AMC Theatres and Movietickets.com by modernizing the business model and improving the customer experience around buying tickets for a movie. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement, and AMC terminated its ticketing arrangement with Movietickets.com as it was entitled to do. AMC has been, is and will in the future remain focused on
EXCLUSIVE: It sure looks that way based on the eye-opening — and, up to now, undisclosed — stories of hardball gamesmanship that MovieTickets tells the Circuit Court in Palm Beach, Fla., in its breach of contract suit against AMC Entertainment. The online ticketing company and its backers — ad and ticket sales company Hollywood Media, and Sumner Redstone‘s National Amusements — say in the second amended complaint filed last month that the No. 2 theater chain, a founding member, engaged in “unconscionable, unfair, and deceptive acts and practices.” They culminated in AMC’s decision in February to move its online business to Comcast-owned Fandango. The plaintiffs add that MovieTickets’ “current viability has been threatened” by AMC. But if they prevail, then AMC might have to return to the fold and pay as-yet unspecified damages. That could belie the claim by The New York Times and its followers in the trade press that the online ticket sales competition is already over, with Fandango the winner. Even though AMC switched sides, it noted in an SEC filing on Friday that it still owns 26.2% of MovieTickets.
More amazing stats for Marvel‘s The Avengers. MovieTickets.com reports that, with just over a week until the U.S. release, the superhero actioner ”is pre-selling more tickets for the upcoming release than the online ticketing company sold for Captain America, Thor, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man combined at the same point in the sales cycle for each film. In fact, pre-sales are over 1 1/2-times that of these past Marvel films combined sales at the same point in the sales cycle”. Avengers is selling 3,995% more tickets than Captain America, 1,034% more tickets than Thor, 114% more tickets than Iron Man 2, and 1,406% more tickets than Iron Man at the same point in the sales cycle. MovieTickets.com reports that 56% of Avengers pre-sales are from fans wanting to see the film in 3D. Nearly 37% are from moviegoers buying tickets to see the film in IMAX 3D.
MovieTickets.com announced Jeremy Devine today as VP Exhibitor and Studio Relations. In his new position, Devine will lead new programs MovieTickets.com are bringing to market. “Jeremy brings an incredibly rich and proven background across film distribution, exhibition and marketing to MovieTickets.com during an exciting growth period,” said CEO Joel Cohen. Devine was previously with Rave Cinemas as VP Marketing and Advertising and before that spent several years at Paramount in branch sales and management.
Boca Raton, FL. February 8, 2012 – MovieTickets.com, Inc., the leading global online movie ticketing provider, joined a lawsuit against one of its founding shareholders, AMC Entertainment, Inc. The lawsuit was previously filed on behalf of National Amusements Inc. and Hollywood Media Corp., each founding shareholders of MovieTickets.com, in Circuit Court for Palm Beach County by prominent trial attorney, Eugene Stearns of Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. The plaintiffs have asked for a jury trial.
MovieTickets.com began 12 years ago when Hollywood Media Corp. along with two exhibitors, National Amusements Inc. and AMC entered into a Joint Venture Agreement in order to create and grow the company. MovieTickets.com has grown from its two founding exhibitors to 247 exhibitors in 19 countries/territories. The company added over 3,000 screens in 2011, bringing its total representation to 19,500 screens and nearly 20 million registered users. The company maintains a 99.6 percent exhibitor retention rate, and continues its growth trajectory on a global basis.
Attending a movie on Christmas Day is becoming more and more of a tradition for U.S. moviegoers, so MovieTickets.com conducted a week-long survey to predict which release will get the most holiday attention this year, asking the question: Which movie will you be seeing over the Christmas holiday weekend?
Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (Paramount) – 26.8%
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Sony) – 26%
War Horse (DreamWorks/Disney) – 18.8%
We Bought A Zoo (Fox) – 13.2%
The Adventures Of Tintin (Paramount)– 11.9%
The Darkest Hour (Summit) – 3.3%