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.”
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 …
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.
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.