US online ticketing service MovieTickets.com has announced that it has sold over 2 million online movie tickets since the service launched in spring 2000. The company, which sells tickets for leading theater chains throughout the US and Canada, represents approximately 80% of North America's online movie screens. It is also the leading provider of at-home movie ticketing, with over 50% of MovieTickets.com's affiliated theaters currently offering print-at-home ticketing and the market growing all the time. However the company believes this is just the beginning of it potential.
Mitchell Rubenstein, co-chairman of MovieTickets.com believes, "The 2 million mark is only the tip of the iceberg. We have sold more tickets so far this summer than we did all of last year. In addition, we achieved this milestone prior to the launch of our alliance with AOL, which we expect will further accelerate our growth rate. Consumers are realizing that it is more convenient to purchase tickets in advance of going to the theater," he continues. "MovieTickets.com provides consumers with the ability to find movie showtimes, purchase their tickets, and in some cases, print out their tickets before they even leave their home. "
The convenience of online ticketing has also been realised in other markets outside the US. In India the Star Group's Indya.com has acquired Bigtree Interactive Ticketing with an investment of approximately $1m, giving Indya.com a 68% stake in Bigtree. Indya Tickets will be the result of a merger between Mumbai-based Bigtree Entertainment and Delhi-based Interactive Television's online ticketing division. The company's services currently include kiosks where customers print vouchers to exchange for tickets at a venue; a call center; and home delivery for a small charge.
Alok Sethi, CEO of Bigtree, sees the potential in the market, "The entertainment industry is poised to see sales to the tune of approximately $6.4bn in five years. It stands at about $2.1bn today. We want to have a presence in this business. We already have relationships with over 100 cinemas and permissions from six state governments to put in place online ticketing systems."
Meanwhile in the UK, Warner Village Cinemas, a division of Warner Bros. International Theatres, has sold its millionth online ticket, through its website (www.warnervillage.co.uk), two years after launch.
Since going live in July 1999, Warner Village's website has posted a 20% year-on-year rise in online bookings, and there are now plans to revamp the site later this year to include a host of additional features. The millionth ticket was sold for a screening at the company's London flagship site, the Warner Village West End, last Friday (August 3).
Rival UK circuit Odeon recently re-launched its website (www.odeon.co.uk), which includes online box office capabilities, after closing it for redevelopment last year.