Fandango headquarters in Beverly Hills
|Founded||April 27, 2000|
|Footnotes / references|
Fandango Media, LLC is an American ticketing company that sells movie tickets via their website as well as through their mobile app, as well as a provider of television and streaming media information, e.g., through its subsidiaries Flixster, Movies.com, and Rotten Tomatoes.
Fandango was founded April 27, 2000, after which revenue increased rapidly for several years. 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 websites 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 their homes into a 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 majority stake in NBCUniversal in January 2011 (full ownership in 2013), Fandango and all other Comcast media assets were merged into the company.
In March 2012, Fandango announced a partnership with Yahoo! Movies, making Fandango the official online and mobile ticketer for registered users of the Yahoo! service. That October, Paul Yanover was named President of Fandango.
Fandango made its first international acquisition in September 2015 when it bought the Brazilian ticketing company Ingresso, which provides ticketing to a variety of Brazilian entertainment events, including the biannual Rock in Rio festival.
On January 29, 2016, Fandango announced its acquisition of M-GO, a joint venture between Technicolor SA and DreamWorks Animation (NBCUniversal acquired the latter company three months later), which it would later rebrand as "FandangoNOW".
In February 2016, 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.
In December 2016, Fandango Media purchased Cinepapaya, a Peru-based website for purchasing movie tickets, for an undisclosed amount. Later that same month, Fandango moved to Fox Interactive Media's former headquarters in Beverly Hills.
Fandango charges a premium, ranging from 75¢ (for online orders) to $2.50 (which includes an additional surcharge for phone orders), to reserve 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 Fandango members.
Fandango's Android app was listed among Techland's 50 Best Android Applications for 2013.
Until its acquisition of its rival MovieTickets.com in 2017, Fandango was one of three major online advance movie ticket sale sites, along with MovieTickets.com and Atom Tickets. Before being acquired by Comcast in April 2007, Fandango was privately owned; its major stakeholder, Regal Entertainment Group, which owned the United Artists and Hoyts theater chains, was the second largest movie-theater chain in the U.S. Regal and its partners founded Fandango partly to prevent the older MovieTickets.com from establishing a monopoly on phone and online ticketing services. (MovieTickets.com was publicly owned and traded under the stock symbol HOLL.) The company's advertising agency reportedly chose the name "Fandango" because it sounded "fun, kinetic and smart", and "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's taking over the latter's online ticketing.
Prior to 2012, Fandango did not provide online ticketing for many AMC Theatres. However, it provided online ticketing for AMC Theatres that were 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 Theatres 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 and other websites, including buy.com and Orbitz, were linked with controversial Web loyalty programs, also known as post-transaction marketers. Fandango reportedly gave the third party access to Fandango customers' credit cards.
In August 2014, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") approved final orders settling charges against Fandango for misrepresenting to the public the security of their mobile app and for failing to protect the transmission of Fandango customers' sensitive personal information. The Fandango mobile app assured consumers, during checkout, that their credit card information was stored and transmitted securely. However, the FTC claims against Fandango focused on failures relating to both the implementation and testing of the Secure Sockets Layer "SSL" certificates for 4 years following the mobile app's launch in March 2009. According to the FTC, Fandango commissioned security audits in 2011, but the audits were limited in scope and did not review the security of the app's transmission of information. The FTC 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 October 2015, FiveThirtyEight published a story and podcast calling Fandango's metrics on user ratings into question. The investigation noted that the site's method for calculating ratings made it rare for a movie to ever receive an overall rating below three stars. The problem seemingly extended from Fandango's 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 Rotten Tomatoes amid fears that the purchase would "ruin" the site.
In December 2017, Fandango received hundreds of complaints regarding its delivery of Star Wars: The Last Jedi tickets. Forbes reported that issues began within hours of advanced sales' becoming available for the new Star Wars film, with customers complaining of long wait times and website glitches. Troubles for the company continued as many complained that they had paid for tickets which they never received, and the YouTube channel Red Letter Media referenced the complaint in their The Last Jedi review multiple times. Customers found little to no support from Fandango's customer relations team, which ignored complaints whilst continuing to take payments.
Fandango manages two Video On Demand (VOD) movie streaming services. In early 2016, Fandango acquired M-GO, which was re-branded FandangoNOW. Fandango later purchased Vudu in July 2020. FandangoNOW and Vudu are the primary digital film services for Roku; they can be accessed via a shortcut on Roku's remote controls. Both are compatible with the Movies Anywhere digital rights locker.