|Founded||April 27, 2000 (as ticketmakers.com)|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
(Time Warner) (30%)
Fandango is an American corporation that sells movie tickets via telephone and Internet.
Fandango charges a premium to use its services, ranging from 75¢ to $2.50 (the additional surcharge for phone orders), which reserves a ticket to be printed out upon arrival at a movie theater, thereby avoiding lines. Initially, seating was promised for sold-out shows, but this feature was discontinued for most theaters, as not all were equipped to handle reserved seating and will call lines. With ticket prices in many areas exceeding US$10.00, purchasing tickets through Fandango and other ticketing websites can make movie-going an expensive proposition; however, procuring tickets to movies on their opening days by conventional means may be inconvenient and difficult (especially in large metropolitan areas) without utilizing services like Fandango.
Fandango's advertisements play before previews at participating movie-theater chains and feature lunch bag puppets telling various one- or two-line jokes and riddles centering on the company's name. The company also produced an advertising segment that is based on the song, "We are the World".
Fandango's website also offers exclusive film clips, trailers, celebrity interviews, reviews by users, movie descriptions, and some web-based games to their members.
As of March 5, 2015, Fandango provides customers with memberships the ability to refund or exchange their orders 2 hours before the showtime of their film.
Industry revenue increased rapidly for several years after the company's formation. However, as the Internet grew in popularity, small- and medium-sized movie-theater chains began to offer independent ticket sale capabilities through their own websites. In addition, a new paradigm of moviegoers printing their own tickets at home (with barcodes to be scanned at the theater) emerged, in services offered by PrintTixUSA and by point-of-sale software vendor operated web sites like "ticketmakers.com" (and eventually Fandango itself). Finally, an overall slump in moviegoing continued into the 2000s, as home theaters, DVDs, and high definition televisions proliferated in average households, turning the home into the preferred place to screen films.
On April 11, 2007, Comcast acquired Fandango, with plans to integrate it into a new entertainment website called "Fancast.com," set to launch the summer of 2007. In June 2008, the domain Movies.com was acquired from Disney. With Comcast's purchase of a stake in NBCUniversal in January 2011, Fandango and all other Comcast media assets were merged into the company.
In February of that same year Fandango announced its acquisition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes from Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment. As part of the deal, Warner Bros. would become a 30% shareholder of the combined Fandango company.
Fandango is one of two major online advance movie ticket sale sites, along with MovieTickets.com. Before being acquired by Comcast in April 2007, Fandango was privately owned, with the major stakeholder being the largest movie-theater chain in the U.S., Regal Entertainment Group, including the United Artists and Hoyts theater chains. Along with other partners, Regal founded Fandango partly to prevent the older MovieTickets.com from establishing a monopoly on phone and online ticketing services. (MovieTickets.com is publicly owned and trades under the stock symbol HOLL.) Its advertising agency reportedly decided on its name because it sounded "fun, kinetic and smart," "easily pronounce[d] and remember[ed]--even though it really has nothing to do with movies."
Mergers of movie chains have complicated matters regarding which company provides online ticketing for a particular chain. Upon Regal's acquisition of Consolidated Theatres, that chain was under contract to MovieTickets.com; as such Fandango does not ticket those Regal theaters. On the other hand, Regal's acquisition of the Hoyts chain resulted in Fandango taking over their online ticketing.
Prior to 2012, Fandango did not provide online ticketing for many AMC Theaters. However, it provided online ticketing for those AMC Theaters originally part of the Loews Cineplex Entertainment chain, due to contractual obligations in place prior to the 2005 merger of the two movie chains. Loews had previously attempted to break the contract in 2002 under pressure of bankruptcy and from (then) AOL Moviefone and its partner, Loews' Cineplex subsidiary; Fandango successfully sued both Loews and Moviefone and retained Loews' business. As of February 8, 2012, Fandango began providing ticketing for all AMC Theaters in the US, after which MovieTickets.com's fellow shareholders sued AMC for breach of contract. AMC and MovieTickets.com settled in 2013, with an agreement that the theater chain's online ticketing would be available on both Fandango and MovieTickets.com.
In July 2009, it was revealed that Fandango along with other web sites, including buy.com and Orbitz, were linked with controversial Web loyalty programs, also known as post-transaction marketers. Fandango reportedly gave access to their customers' credit cards to the third party.
In August 2014, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") approved a final orders settling charges against Fandango for misrepresenting to the public the security of their mobile app and also for failing to protect the transmission of their customers' sensitive personal information. The Fandango mobile app assured consumers, during checkout, that their credit card information was stored and transmitted securely. The FTC claims against Fandango focused on failures relating to both the implementation and testing of its Secure Sockets Layer "SSL" certificates for 4 years following the launch of the mobile app in March 2009. According to the FTC, Fandango commissioned security audits in 2011, but the audits were limited in scope and did not include a review of the security of the app's transmission of information. It was also alleged that Fandango did not implement effective channels for security complaints, and instead relied on its general customer service system to handle security vulnerability reporting.
In the fall of 2015 Website fivethirtyeight published a story calling Fandango's metrics on User ratings into question. The investigation noted that due to how the site calculates ratings it was rare for a movie to ever get below an overall rating of three stars. The problem seemingly extended from Fandango habit of rounding ratings up to the nearest half. Fandango, in response, noted that this was a glitch it was working to repair. Nevertheless, Gizmodo cited the study after Fandango announced the purchase of the Rotten Tomatoes over fears that the purchase would "ruin" the site.
|Introduced||February 19, 2016|
In early 2016, Fandango acquired two independent movie streaming services: Flixster and M-GO. Fandango re-branded M-GO to FandangoNow and began migrating Flixster Video users to the newly renamed service. FandangoNow is compatible with UltraViolet, a digital rights locker for many large film studios.
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