Fandango to acquire Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes

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Fandango signed an agreement to acquire Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, which includes the well-known professional movie critic rating tool, the Tomatometer™, from Warner Bros. Entertainment. The addition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, along with Fandango’s recent acquisition of on-demand video service M-GO, will expand the company’s theatrical ticketing business and create a potent digital network for all things movies.

Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, which reach 20 million unique visitors per month, will remain consumer-facing brands. With this acquisition, Fandango’s combined audience reach will grow to more than 63 million unique visitors per month and offer consumers a comprehensive resource for movie information, theatrical ticketing, video content for movie discovery, and home entertainment. As part of the deal, Warner Bros. Entertainment will take a minority ownership stake in Fandango and serve as an ongoing strategic partner. Fandango will continue to operate as a unit of NBCUniversal.

“Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes are invaluable resources for movie fans, and we look forward to growing these successful properties, driving more theatrical ticketing and super-serving consumers with all their movie needs,” said Fandango president Paul Yanover. “Our new expanded network will offer unparalleled capabilities for all of our exhibition, studio and promotional partners to reach a massive entertainment audience with innovative marketing and ticketing solutions that benefit from original content, home entertainment products, ‘super tickets,’ gifts with purchase, and other new promotional opportunities.” 

Rotten Tomatoes is the most popular online aggregator of theatrical and in-home movie and TV reviews from professional critics and fans. Flixster is a leading website and mobile app for discovering movies, with more than 50 million app installs. Fandango will be extending its ticketing capabilities to the Flixster app in the coming months. Together, Flixster and Fandango’s mobile app downloads total more than 100 million.

Flixster Video, the home entertainment and digital video redemption service, is not included in the transaction, but is expected to transition its users to Fandango’s new video-on-demand service later this year, and will sunset thereafter.

Fandango had a record-breaking year in 2015, with 81% growth in U.S. ticketing and for the first time in a single year, Fandango received more than one billion visits. Fandango Movieclips added four million new subscribers to its network of nearly 13 million, and generated a total of 4.5 billion video views, a 54% increase year-over-year. Fandango also made its first move internationally into Latin America, acquiring Brazil’s largest online ticketer, Ingresso.com, in November 2015.