Moviefone Sold in MoviePass Bankruptcy Proceedings

Moviefone, the iconic voice of the now-discontinued telephone service marketing theatrical releases and ticket sales, has been sold for $1 million in bankruptcy proceedings involving Helios and Matheson Analytics, which also owned the defunct MoviePass subscription ticket service.

Founded in 1989, Moviefone offered callers movie, ticket and screening information nationwide. The service was acquired for $388 million in 1999 by AOL, which in 2017 merged with Yahoo to become Oath. Helios and Matheson bought the brand in 2018 for $8 million from Oath in a largely stock-based transaction. (Oath in 2019 was renamed Verizon Media.)

Follow us on Instagram

In the Internet era, Moviefone morphed into an online service through an agreement in 2001 with MovieTickets.com. The service in 2012 partnered with Fandango, which is owned by NBCUniversal.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Bankrupt Sears Still Selling Movie Discs Online

Sears and subsidiary Kmart stores, and its online and mobile platforms, remain open following the Oct. 15 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and continue to offer a full range of products — including DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies.

The fiscal reorganization by Sears Holdings Corp. underscores ongoing fiscal challenges traditional brick-and-mortar retail faces in the age of ecommerce.

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears announced a series of actions it says will establish a sustainable capital structure, continue streamlining its operating model and return the company to profitability – last achieved in 2010.

Sears will close 142 unprofitable stores near the end of the year. Liquidation sales at these stores are expected to begin shortly. The company previously announced closure of 46 unprofitable stores that is expected to be completed by November.

The company — best known for its Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools — announced it received commitments for $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing and is negotiating for another $300 million in financing.

“Our goal is to achieve a comprehensive restructuring as efficiently as possible, working closely with our creditors and other debtholders, and be better positioned to execute on our strategy and key priorities,” outgoing CEO Edward Lampert said in a statement.

Regardless, Sears will continue to sell new-release movies on its website. The site currently offers 141 Blu-ray titles, in addition to 4K Blu-ray, and more than 500 DVD movies. Orders are facilitated by Kmart and other third-party distributors.

Indeed, Sears found itself in hot water in 2011 when it was accused of selling pornographic DVDs on its website. The retailer attributed the error to third-party merchants slipping content through its product monitoring system.