Rollout timed for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' April 1 home-video release
Fandango acquired M-Go, which offers thousands of movies and TV shows for rent or purchase, from Dreamworks Animation and Technicolor in January.
The rebranded FandangoNow service is expected to launch by March 30 in time for the HD digital release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on April 1. According to Fandango, the service sold more than 37% of the tickets for the movie’s record-breaking opening weekend box office.
“We want to host the movie experience across the total life cycle of a movie,” Fandango president Paul Yanover said in an interview.
With FandangoNow, the company plans to launch new offers including “super tickets” that combine theater tickets with digital home-entertainment bundles. Those could also include bonus content, collectible memorabilia and special fan experiences.
FandangoNow will feature a new design and user interface, with enhanced features and additional platforms to be rolled out over the next few months, according to Yanover. The company is in the process of linking Fandango user accounts with the M-Go system, and vice versa.
The company’s bet: by putting the power of the Fandango behind M-Go, it can not only boost VOD and electronic-sell through revenue but also use FandangoNow as a way to sell tickets for movies currently in theaters. “M-Go built a really great product, but not many people know what M-Go is,” Yanover said.
Last month, Fandango entered into a deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment to acquire Flixster and movie review-aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Once that deal closes, Fandango’s non-duplicated audience reach will grow to more than 63 million unique visitors per month, according to comScore data from December 2015.
“It’s a sum-of-the-parts strategy,” Yanover said.
Even with its foray into digital home video, Fandango’s core business will remain selling tickets. The company, which competes primarily with MovieTickets.com in the segment, has deals with exhibitors spanning more than 27,000 screens in the U.S. The company also has expanded internationally, acquiring Brazilian movie-ticketing site Ingresso last fall.
FandangoNow, like the existing M-Go service, will provide access to new movie releases and next-day TV shows on the web, iOS, Android and Roku devices as well as on smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Vizio.