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AMC Theatres aim for digital sales with Fandango partnership

Previous to the announcement, consumers could buy movie tickets for select AMC Theatres. AMC Theatres is rolling out 3,000 new screens to the Fandango network.

“Fandango has had a deal with AMC in the past, but now all the company’s theaters are covered with this initiative,” said Harry Medved, spokesman for Fandango, Los Angeles.

AMC Theatres operates 351 movie theaters and 5,083 screens in the United States and Canada.

Fandango is an online entertainment destination where movie goers can read  reviews, learn about upcoming films and buy movie tickets.

Tricky sales
The AMC Theatre news comes after Movietickets.com recently sued the cinema chain for a breach of contract.

AMC was one of the first cinema chains to sell tickets via Movietickets.com and was under an agreement to sell tickets exclusively on the site.

Movietickets.com reportedly claims that AMC broke the contract after trying to get more control over its sales.

Mobile movies
Under the new partnership, consumers can buy movie tickets to AMC Theatres from Fandango’s, Web site, mobile site and line of mobile applications.

The deal is meant to help AMC Theatres dig its claws further into digital ticket sales.

To purchase movie tickets from their smartphone, consumers can type http://www.fandango.com into their mobile browser.

Users can also use Fandango’s line of mobile apps to buy tickets. Fandango has apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, iPad, Android-based tablets, Windows’ Slate tablet and the Barnes & Noble Nook devices.

Digital movies?
Fandango has recently seen a substantial portion of its business and sales coming from mobile devices, making the channel an obvious place for a large cinema chain such as AMC to make a mobile footprint.

Fandango recently rolled out a mobile ticketing program to 1,000 partners across the country. Using the service, consumers can show a mobile bar code on their device to theater employees in lieu of a paper ticket (see story).

According to Fandango, of the consumers who are offered the mobile tickets in the select markets, up to 50 percent of users take advantage of the mobile ticketing services.

Additionally, Fandango claims that mobile sales increased 73 percent in 2011 year-over-year, showing how small items such as movie tickets are being embraced by consumers with mobile payments.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York