Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Lions Gate Entertainment have come together to invest $50m in Atom Tickets, a group-buying start-up that offers discounted cinema tickets to users.
The Atom Tickets app can organise groups to go to cinema and enable discounts for less-popular screenings, as well as offering reviews, trailers and synopses. By analysing social media, the app polls several friends’ movie preferences and availability then suggests screenings that meet everyone’s criteria. Groups can then buy a block of tickets together and divide payments rather than one person paying for everyone.
With the backing of the three major film studios the company could pose a serious challenge to Comcast Corp’s, Fandango, which has dominated the online ticketing market.
The move is likely to boost the percentage of tickets sold online, currently around 15 per cent, and could help turnaround the longstanding downward trend of US cinema audiences.
Kevin Meyer, Disney’s chief strategy officer, said, “The Atom Tickets app and platform is bringing innovation to the ticketing market by empowering social networks and mobile devices to make the movie-going experience seamless and convenient.
“Their technology not only adds value to the consumer, they will also help movie studios and theatres by providing dynamic pricing, advanced analytics, and concession and ticket couponing.”
Chief executive of 20th Century Fox, Jim Gianopulos, said Atom’s “unique interface and integration with movie fans’ social networks” created an “exciting opportunity” for the film studio.
Ameesh Paleja, chief executive of Atom Tickets, said the platform utilizes “cutting edge” data analysis and targeting techniques to help connect movie-goers to the specific films consumers want to see.
Aton Tickets will have some way to go before it can pose a threat to Fandango, which recently acquired video-on-demand service, M-Go, to offer film downloads along with tickets. The Comcast Corp company also reportedly held talks with Time WarnerInc.’s Warner Bros. to acquire its film website Flixster.