A start-up North Amercian internet ticketing company founded by six major exhibitors was unveiled at ShoWest yesterday. With an initial investment of $30m, the landmark venture is expected to be the leading internet portal for remote ticketing as well as providing comprehensive movie information, reviews and trailers.
The alliance between Loews Cineplex Entertainment (LCE), Regal Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, General Cinemas, Edwards Theatres and Century Theatres has exclusive rights to the venture's collective total of 12,000 screens - which drew a box office total of more than $600m in 1999.
The independent company, which will be operational this summer, is also aggressively investigating access via wireless devices and in-home ticketing technologies.
Providing an injection of capital to the 'bricks to clicks' partnership is Accretive Technology Partners, a private e-commerce investment company run by J. Michael Cline, and General Atlantic Partners, a global equity firm.
*Also announced earlier this week at ShoWest was a $25m equity promotional deal between CBS Corporation and MovieTickets.com, another new internet ticketing company owned by the exhibitors AMC Entertainment and National Amusements, and Hollywood.com. This agreement gives CBS a 5% stake in MovieTicktets.com in return for $25m worth of promotion of the website across CBS' media interests. MovieTickets.com is scheduled to launch on Memorial Day this year.