You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Fandango Plans Future as Creator of Movie-Themed Content

Not content as ubiquitous friend to pic fans, firm plans future as creator of movie-themed content

Whenever Fandango president Paul Yanover tells people what he does, he receives a rapturous response.

“People always go, ‘Oh, I love Fandango,’ ” Yanover told Variety. “It’s so interesting to have that kind of emotional response to a product that’s basically functional. What came to us that ‘Oh I love Fandango’ is awfully close to ‘I love movies.’ ”

If Yanover’s unscientific polling is correct, then a company once best known for its bag puppet mascots, has over its 15-year history burrowed so far into the popular consciousness that it is now synonymous with the thrills, laughter and drama of sitting in a darkened theater.

That association gave Yanover and his team the impetus to move beyond ticketing. Over the past two years, the company has moved aggressively into creating Web series and original content that highlight everything from family films to Oscar hopefuls. Its programming slate includes the children’s movie talk show “Reel Kids”; a look at upcoming releases called “Weekend Ticket”; and “Movie3Some,” a loose-limbed take on big-screen news. Last year it bought online video service Movieclips, best known for posting memorable film moments and trailers.
“We want to build relationships around content,” says Sandro Corsaro, Fandango’s chief creative officer. “Maybe we’re selling tickets in unobtrusive ways and sometimes in more overt ways.”

In the process, Fandango has become the industry’s biggest cheerleader, helping to stoke excitement for blockbusters to come, and backing a series of “Got Milk?” style promotions for the movie business that had everyone from Slash to Evander Holyfield rhapsodizing about their favorite film experiences.

Although some studios and staffers initially expressed reservations that the dive into content would move the company too far away from its core mission of selling tickets, they appear to have come around. “It’s another way of exciting the consumer about our films,” says Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. distribution executive vice president. “They’re able to speak to the audience directly.”

That’s not the only big shift Yanover has overseen since joining Fandango in 2012. Prior to his arrival, the ticketer was locked in a series of exclusive deals with its exhibitor partners. Yanover decided that being in as many theaters as possible was more important than edging out competitors. The move to nonexclusive deals allowed the company to expand its footprint in New England, the Midwest and the Southwest.

“It’s not that we weren’t interested in exclusivity,” Yanover explains. “It’s just that we were more interested in how to become ubiquitous. That was hard to do in a ticketing world divided by exclusive contracts.”

Since its inception, Fandango’s sphere of influence has grown rapidly, from 1,000 screens at launch to 27,000 U.S. screens today. In the future, it may move beyond just helping moviegoers reserve a seat for opening weekend.

The company has partnered with exhibitors on SuperTickets programs that combine tix with digital copies of films and other goodies. Studios are hoping there might be more opportunities for collaboration.

“It would be great to stop viewing a moviegoer just as someone who goes to a theater, and to instead see them as a customer who also rents or buys a movie,” says Megan Colligan, president of worldwide marketing and distribution for Paramount Pictures.

“We’re very fragmented in the way that we sell things,” says Colligan. “If we could find ways to make things more consolidated and streamlined that would be great. Paul and his team get that.”

More Digital

  • USA Today Mobile Apps Get Oscars

    USA Today Launches Oscars AR Experience to Highlight Work of Costume Designers (EXCLUSIVE)

    USA Today is getting ready for the Academy Awards with an augmented reality (AR) experience dedicated to the work of the costume designers on some of the Oscar-nominated movies. The experience, which went live in USA Today’s Android and iOS app Monday, presents wardrobe from 6 movies in augmented reality, including costumes worn on “Mary [...]

  • Amazon Prime

    Amazon Prime India Greenlights ‘Bandits’ Music Series

    Amazon Prime Video India has greenlit original series “Bandish Bandits.” The show is a musical created by Still and Still Media Collective. The series will follow an Indian classical musician bound by tradition and a pop star whose performance skills are greater than her talent. A bandish is a term used to describe a musical [...]

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content