AMC Theatres A-List Subscription Ticket Service Partners with Fandango, Atom Tickets

AMC Theatres A-List, the theatrical chain’s ticket subscription service and loyalty program, Sept. 17 announced a marketing partnership with online ticket services Fandango and Atom Tickets.

Under terms of the deal, A-List members who may use Atom Tickets and Fandango for movie tickets can now enter their A-List membership number during checkout, securing a ticket reservation with their membership, which is applied as one of the subscriber’s three-movies-per-week allotment.

A-List, which was launched this summer by AMC for $19.95 monthly as competition to MoviePass ($9.95) and Cinemark’s Movie Club ($8.99) subscription platforms,

Because A-List members receive the benefits of AMC Stubs Premiere, the online ticketing fee is waived. A-List subs can also purchase additional tickets in the same transaction on both sites, allowing them to bring along friends and family members to the movie.

“The guest feedback and membership sign-up rate have far exceeded our expectations, but we’re constantly looking for ways to provide more opportunities … through A-List,” Stephen Colanero, chief marketing officer, AMC, said in a statement.

Adding Fandango and Atom Tickets, the latter co-owned by Lionsgate, ups the profile of online ticketing across all platforms – and helps drive more moviegoers into their theaters.

“Fandango and AMC Theatres have worked together for more than a decade to innovate the moviegoing experience for AMC’s guests across online, mobile and social media platforms,” said Kevin Shepela, chief commercial officer, Fandango.

“Recognizing A-List membership is … a natural extension of our support for exhibitor loyalty programs,” added Matthew Bakal, cofounder and chairman of Atom Tickets.

FandangoNow to Bow Rental Bundles Aug. 31

FandangoNow Binge Bundles, a rental initiative offering multiple titles from franchises and special-themed collections to double features and more, bundled together for one price, bows Aug. 31.

Fandango’s on-demand video service will be offering more than 100 popular movie rental bundles. The bundles will feature blockbuster franchises such as the Jack Ryan Collection (including The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger and The Sum of All Fears), the Spider-Man Complete Collection (featuring all six movies), the Hotel Transylvania movies, “The Twilight Saga,” faith-based double feature Miracles from Heaven and Heaven Is for Real, and the Seth Rogen comedy double feature Pineapple Express and Sausage Party. Select bundles will also be available in 4K Ultra HD.

“Our goal with Binge Bundles is to give movie lovers a complete home entertainment experience in a way that hasn’t been offered anywhere in the digital rental market,” said Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment, Fandango, in a statement. “This program enables us to highlight FandangoNow’s vast catalogue of movies — including major studio releases in 4K Ultra HD, indie movies, and classics — while also providing a unique and affordable opportunity for fans to binge on their favorite films.”

FandangoNow Binge Bundles will feature an ever-changing assortment of movie packages and complete franchise collections (some including up to six titles) for rent starting as low as $1.50 per movie. For each Binge Bundle rental, consumers will have 30 days to watch all of the movies in the bundle, and 48 hours to finish each title.

Rotten Tomatoes Expands Pool of Critics

Rotten Tomatoes, the movie and TV show recommendation service, has debuted revamped critics criteria for its popular Tomatometer rating system to include more voices.

The entertainment review aggregator, the Tomatometer reflects the collective opinion of thousands of Tomatometer-approved critics. Each Tomatometer score represents the percentage of positive reviews for a given film or television show.

Rotten Tomatoes’ revamped criteria have an increased focus on the critic’s individual qualifications and body of work, rather than basing Tomatometer approval primarily on their publication or employer. This strategy will allow for a wider and more diverse pool of critics’ perspectives to be included in the Tomatometer, according to the company.

In addition, the criteria have expanded beyond the written review to include newer media platforms. Now individuals and outlets that produce reviews for podcasts and digital video series with a strong social media presence and audience engagement will be considered for the Tomatometer.  Recently, more than 200 new Tomatometer-approved critics have been added with many more to come, according to the company.

The criteria can be found on the Rotten Tomatoes site, along with an application to become a Tomatometer-approved critic.

“Over the past few years, our team has added hundreds of new voices to the Tomatometer on top of the thousands we currently have, with the goal of creating a critics pool that closely reflects the global entertainment audience,” said Jenny Jediny, Rotten Tomatoes critics relations manager, in a statement. “We took another key step today by revamping our critics criteria that both shifts our focus to approving critics individually rather than through publications, and introduces updated guidelines for newer media platforms to be a part of the Tomatometer.”

To help critics gain access to key film festivals, Rotten Tomatoes has established a $100,000 grant program. Over the next year, Rotten Tomatoes will provide grants to non-profit organizations that help critics with costly expenses associated with festival attendance. The first grant of $25,000 will go to the Toronto International Film Festival’s Media Inclusion Initiative, which will help the organization bring almost 200 new journalists serving underrepresented groups to the Festival, running Sept. 6-16.

“Rotten Tomatoes plays an important role in connecting fans with trusted information and recommendations on what to watch in theaters and at home,” said Paul Yanover, president of Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes’ parent company, in a statement. “Advancing inclusion in criticism continues to be a priority for Rotten Tomatoes and we plan to expand our work with media outlets that hire critics, film festivals and other groups, so as an industry we can better serve consumers.”

New critics will be spotlighted on the Tomatometer Critics home page.  Rotten Tomatoes plans to introduce more new product features over the next year, the company announced.

‘Deadpool 2’ Extended Cut in High Demand, Fandango Survey Finds

Marvel’s Deadpool 2 is making its digital debut Aug. 7 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, and a survey conducted by Fandango found that most fans plan to watch the extended cut.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 movie watchers planning to see Deadpool 2 at home, 92% plan to watch the special edition of the film, Deadpool 2: Super Duper Cut, which features 15 minutes of extra footage.

The film is also available in the theatrical version and is available for purchase Aug. 7 in standard definition, HD and 4K UHD from FandangoNOW.

Fans ordering Deadpool 2 on FandangoNow will receive an exclusive Fandango FanShop poster from Deadpool 2 creator Rob Liefeld while supplies last.

FandangoNow’s Cameron Douglas Elected EMA Chairman

Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment for Fandango’s on-demand video streaming service, FandangoNow, has been elected chairman of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Douglas replaces Jonathan Zepp, head of worldwide movies and TV partnerships for Google Play.

Other officers include vice chair Suyin Lim, senior director, global content acquisition, Sony Interactive Entertainment; secretary Michele Edelman, EVP, marketing and content strategy, Vubiquity; and treasurer Matt Hill, head of vendor management, Amazon Prime Video.

EMA past chairmen Bob Geistman, EVP, sales and marketing for Ingram Entertainment, and Marty Graham, SVP, comScore, as well as Bill Kotzman, partner product manager, TV/film, Google/YouTube, will also serve on the association’s executive committee as at-large members.

Other members of the board are Amit Balan, head of marketing, Vudu; Lori Flynn, VP, content, Redbox Automated Retail; Ryan Gorman, director, merchandise buying, video games, Target; Pedro E. Gutierrez Jr., director, digital stores movies and TV business and category management, Microsoft; Steve Harkins, VP and GM, Baker & Taylor; Bill Miller, VP and divisional merchandise manager, DVD, Blu-ray, and Games, Trans World Entertainment; Jason Peterson, CEO, ContentBridge Systems; and Mark Vrieling, CEO, ScreenPlay Entertainment.

“In the ever-changing world of home entertainment retailing, we need an organized industry association more than ever,” said Douglas in a statement. “EMA collectively advocates for anyone involved in the consumer delivery of content, promotes and encourages adoption of standards, and establishes trade- and consumer-focused best practices. I am proud to devote my time to an organization so important to our industry.”

“The companies on EMA’s Board of Directors represent the spectrum of the home entertainment industry, including video and video games, physical and digital, and sellthrough, rental, and streaming,” said Mark Fisher, EMA president and CEO, in a statement. “These directors personify the diversity of products and business models in our industry and will help ensure that the industry’s trade association meets the needs of all market segments in our incredibly diverse industry.”

FandangoNow Highlights ‘Fresh’ Films Not on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu

Online transactional VOD retailer FandangoNow this week is launching a new feature that offers up recommended films, for digital purchase or rent, not available on Netflix and other subscription streaming services.

The monthly feature, FandangoNOW’s “Fresh Picks,” will highlight films on the service with “Fresh” or “Certified Fresh” Tomatometer scores, according to movie review aggregator, Rotten Tomatoes, a sister division. (A movie gets a “Fresh” designation when at least 60% of its critic reviews are positive.)

This month’s “Fresh Picks” include:

  • Aliens (Special Edition)
  • American Psycho (Uncut Version)
  • Avatar
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Black Hawk Down
  • The Book of Life
  • Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
  • The Bourne Supremacy
  • Brave
  • Bridesmaids (Unrated)
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Chef
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Death Wish
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Django Unchained
  • The Expendables 2
  • Elysium
  • The Fault in Our Stars (Extended Edition)
  • The Fifth Element
  • Four Lions
  • The Fugitive
  • Frozen
  • Godzilla
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • The Heat
  • The Help
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • The Hunger Games
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople
  • Ice Age
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Into The Woods
  • Knocked Up
  • Lawless
  • Legally Blonde
  • Limitless: Unrated Extended Cut
  • Lone Survivor
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight
  • Lucy
  • Married to the Mob
  • Mary Poppins
  • The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • My Best Friend’s Wedding
  • My Big Fat Greek Wedding
  • Ocean’s Eleven
  • Once Were Warriors
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Prisoners
  • The Professional
  • Role Models
  • The Secret of Kells
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • The Social Network
  • Spy Kids
  • Stalag 17
  • Stand By Me
  • Surf’s Up
  • Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
  • That Touch of Mink
  • The Terminator
  • Tombstone
  • Tortilla Soup
  • Toy Story
  • True Romance (Director’s Cut)
  • Walk the Line
  • Wild
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  • Wreck-It Ralph

 

In March 2018, digital movie collection service Movies Anywhere added FandangoNow as its fifth digital retail partner. Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu were partnered with the service at launch last year.

Visit FandangoNow here.

FandangoNow has the most comprehensive selection of films in 4K Ultra HD from all the major studios and content providers, according to the service. The service’s catalog is available on more than 200 million devices, offering 70,000 new release and catalog movies, next-day TV shows to buy or rent — no subscription required.

MoviePass Owner Plans 1-for-250 Reverse Stock Split, ‘Rotten Tomatoes’-Like Rating System, Among Other Bravado

Early in the United States’ ill-advised war on Iraq, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, former Iraqi information minister (a.k.a. “Baghdad Bob” or “Comical Ali”), was known for his propaganda and colorful speech intended to boost the morale of Iraqi troops.

Fifteen years later at Media & Entertainment Service Alliances’ Smart Content Summit in New York, Ted Farnsworth, CEO of Helios and Matheson Analytics, parent of theatrical ticket service MoviePass, is doing his best “Baghdad Bob” schtick.

During the July 24 self-serving keynote, “Disruption in the Entertainment Industry – Monetizing the MoviePass Effect,” Farnsworth said the fiscally-challenged ticket subscription remains on course to turn the exhibitor market on its ear.

“It all comes down to data,” Farnsworth said, as reported by M&E Daily. “We know our subscribers. We know what they like. We know what movies they go to — their genre, all these different things. Nobody else knows that.”

Data, in addition to tickets and content ownership/licensing, is high on MoviePass’ portfolio of assets Farnsworth believes makes the service unique and worthy of Wall Street investment.

The service will soon launch a movie rating system powered by MoviePass subscribers because apparently current Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Fandango rating systems aren’t enough.

Farnsworth contends movie studios have no clue who watches their movies.

“Boggles my mind,” he said, adding that monetizing the data remains “a challenge”.

That’s putting it mildly.

Helios and Matheson Analytics remains challenged just staying in business. It claims MoviePass has more than 3 million subscribers and is on course to reach 5 million subs by the end of the year.

No doubt, offering subs daily access to a theatrical screening for $9.95 monthly fee is a boon for consumers. It almost sounds too good to be true. That’s because it is. It’s loss-leader pricing on crack.

HMNY has been hemorrhaging cash, burning through more than $20 million monthly paying exhibitors face value for each ticket used by subscribers. The company warned it faced liquidity issues in its most-recent fiscal period.

Investors noticed, sending HMNY shares freefalling to less 10 cents per share – unsustainable by anyone’s yardstick.

Thus, HMNY said it plans a 1-for-250 shares reverse stock split to take effect July 25. The news resulted in more than 60 million shares trading hands as investors headed for the exit.

“We believe this is an important step that will facilitate our access to capital over the next several years and enable us to implement our growth plans for MoviePass, MoviePass Films and MoviePass Ventures, and will enable us to pursue potential acquisitions to grow our business,” Farnsworth said in a statement. “With greater access to capital, we expect to solidify our position as the No. 1 movie theater subscription service in the U.S. and continue to revolutionize the movie industry.”

With the stock currently trading at a vacuous 0.08 cents per share, after the split, HMNY shares will “worth” $20 per share.

Said one online observer, “They just couldn’t wait to screw the stockholders.”

The Entertainment Merchants Association Hosts Seventh Annual LAES

The seventh annual Los Angeles Entertainment Summit, presented by the Entertainment Merchants Association, took place July 17-18 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The event included panels, speakers, awards, an OTT Channels Conference and a cocktail party sponsored by FandangoNow, which included a silent auction to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Free Movie Poster for Early ‘Jurassic World’ Ticket Buyers on Fandango

Consumers who buy tickets to Universal Pictures’ Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on Fandango.com will receive a free fan-created movie poster. The movie opens in theaters on June 22.

Fans can also order limited edition Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Fandango movie gift cards from the online ticket service’s just-launched e-commerce platform.

Dubbed Fandango Prop Shop, the platform gives consumers the opportunity to own official, limited edition prop replicas from popular films and franchises. Initial offerings include replicas molded from original on-screen props from the Jurassic Park and Jurassic Worldfilm franchise, handcrafted on the Universal Studios backlot.

Fallen Kingdom takes the blockbuster franchise in an exhilarating new direction,” Erik Davis, managing editor at Fandango, said in a statement.

Fandango and transactional VOD platform Fandango Now are part of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which is a unit of NBC Universal and owned by Comcast.