Entertainment site relaunches via pact with Whalerock, with Disney's 'Maleficent' as launch sponsor
The Internet media company teamed on the Moviefone relaunch with Whalerock Industries, which changed changed its name from BermanBraun after the exit of Gail Berman earlier this year. The new Moviefone website and apps are designed to span all entertainment content, to help users find movies TV shows wherever that content is available — in theaters, on TV or online.
The relaunch — sponsored by Disney’s “Maleficent,” which bows May 30 — comes after Moviefone shut down its iconic 777-FILM phone service in March.
“The line between television and film content blurs more every day,” said Lloyd Braun, founder and CEO of Whalerock. “Consumers have a dizzying array of choices in determining what and where to watch their favorite TV shows and movies. We believe the new Moviefone will become an essential tool in helping consumers make that choice.”
Moviefone’s search service will continue to feature movie showtimes and ticketing while also including TV content. For TV, Moviefone will let consumers find specific episodes or seasons of a television series whether on broadcast or cable TV, Netflix, Amazon, Apple iTunes or elsewhere.
While Moviefone has retired the original phone numbers, the voice of the service (“Hello, and welcome to Moviefone!”) will live on in a new incarnation: AOL announced as search for the next Mr. or Ms. Moviefone via an open casting call to fans. (Those interested in entering the competition can text “STAR” to 265265 for more details.)
Moviefone was founded in 1989 as a dial-up service for checking movie times. It was acquired by AOL in 1999 for $388 million.
AOL announced the pact with Whalerock last October to relaunch Moviefone. That came together through the relationship between Susan Lyne, head of AOL’s Brand Group and Whalerock’s Braun, who had previously worked together at ABC.