Last year, in Canada and the U.S., 1.27 billion movie tickets were sold — a figure down 6% from 2013, with box office totals down 5% to $10.4 billion, according to the Motion Picture Association of America’s annual report.
But it’s not all doom and gloom at Fandango. The L.A.-based online ticket merchant says sales are growing, and they are banking, at least in part, on a new original digital video series to help power that momentum over the coming year.
In 2014, Fandango acquired MCM Movieclips from Zefr. The acquisition saw Fandango inherit Movieclips’s 25 channels, seven million subscribers and 45,000 online clips, trailers and original productions. Now, Fandango is taking the helm on its first original series.
Fandango announced I Love Movies in April, featuring celebrities discussing their favorite movies. The series premiered on May 5 with NBA star Dwight Howard talking about his love for the 2003 Disney-owned Pixar studio’s Finding Nemo.
Confirmed upcoming guests include Slash, Reba McIntyre and Tony Hawk. On top of Fandago’s Youtube channel Movieclips Trailers, the videos will be available on their channels on Hulu, Roku and Samsung’s Milk Video Serivce.
StreamDaily spoke with Fandango’s head of marketing Adam Rockmore and asked him to share more about the company’s plans and how digital video fits into their future:
Fandango’s bread and butter is ticket sales, so what was the goal with creating an online series?
We’re looking forward to the broader opportunity at how we get movies (to be) relatable to every person out there. It’s sort of like food — food effects everyone; movies effect everyone. We talk to people of all walks of life, from artists to newsmakers to athletes. They have a voice to reach people with real emotional and authentic stories. You can see how vulnerable that person is. It’s amazing what a movie does to somebody. What we want people to know is why you go to the movies. It’s not just renting a movie at home. It’s the whole experience. It’s exciting and it’s special, and you can’t get that anywhere else.
In 2014, movie attendance hit a 20-year low. Has that been part of the reasoning for launching I Love Movies?
From an internal business standpoint, it’s part of our positioning. We want to talk about all things movies. We just think it’s the right time. This year is going to be one of the biggest movie years. We had 50 Shades of Grey. We have Mad Max. We have Jurassic World. So it’s less about a reaction to last year and more about saying,’This is an unheard of time.’
It’s been one year since Fandango acquired Movieclips and has started on original content creation. Why do you feel Fandango will be successful in this area?
We’ve always been in the movie space and have been successful in the utility side of the movie space. We now have a platform for movie clips that has a very big user space. Evolving under the Movieclips brand is natural for us. A lot of the movie content we’ve been producing is much more in the vein of engaging entertainment. We are piloting lots of different types of content. (I Love Movies) is one that we’ve piloted and then continued on with, so you’ll see a lot more of us.
As you expand beyond just ticket sales, what are some of your broad goals?
What we’re trying to do is be able to touch people, and interact with people more. There’s so much more time to talk to people about a movie. Like when a trailer drops for Star Wars, it’s dropping a year before the movie comes out. We have the capability to talk about it. We just launched a social, post-movie sharing product called Five Fast Facts (a section available on a movie’s page on their website), which is for then you leave a movie and you think, “How did they do that?” or “Was that true?” It’s like trivia. We just did it with The Avengers and it had quite a great open rate, quite a good interaction.
How does the branch out beyond the scope of ticket sales help Fandango as a brand?
What we want to do is help drive more ticketing, help drive the box office, put more butts in the seats. The more we can interact with consumers, the more people can come through (us) to buy tickets. With our studio partners, we’ve historically done quite a bit with on the ticketing side, being able to expand awareness of them and partner with them for the duration of the movie for the life cycle, the sharing like this Avengers’ Five Fast Facts. That provides a valuable partnership that we can add there. Instead of the movie-sharing experience fragmenting to multiple places, they can start going to one place or fewer places.
What do you want the general public to associate with Fandango?
We love movies. Consumers love movies. Movies are an incredible gift to people. It’s been years and years of fun, and we want to continue to facilitate bringing them to consumers, and that’s in any capacity from content to information about them, to helping them share it with other people.