Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Fandango Buys Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster From Warner Bros.

  • Deals help Comcast-owned Fandago expand in ticket selling
  • Warner Bros. gets minority stake, becomes strategic partner

Comcast Corp.’s Fandango Inc. bought Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes from Warner Bros., uniting the biggest online ticket seller with popular outlets for finding films and reading reviews.

Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner Inc., will obtain a minority stake in Fandango and become a strategic partner, according to a statement Wednesday. Other terms weren’t disclosed.

Rotten Tomatoes is perhaps best known for its “Tomatometer” rating, which represents the percentage of positive professional reviews for movies or television shows. Flixster is a website and app for discovering movies.

The latest acquisitions by Fandango will help the company expand in the movie ticketing business while creating a digital network for entertainment information. In September, Fandango acquired Brazil’s largest online ticketer, Ingresso.com, and last month bought the on-demand video service M-GO, which distributes movies to streaming and mobile devices. With the purchases, Fandango’s combined audience will reach more than 63 million unique visitors. It will also extend its ticketing capabilities to the Flixster app in the coming months.

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, bought Fandango in April 2007 for an undisclosed amount. The website was started in 2000 by seven of the 10 largest movie-theater chains in the U.S., including Cinemark Holdings Inc. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.

NBCUniversal in August agreed to make a $200 million investment in the news website BuzzFeed and a similar amount in Vox Media, the online publisher of The Verge, Eater and Re/code, in an effort to capture the growth in digital advertising and reach younger consumers. Fandango will continue to operate as a unit of Comcast’s NBCUniversal.

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