Competition Heats Up in Online Movie Tickets Space

On the same day it was reported that six major movie theatre chains were forming an online venture to sell tickets, a similar company, MovieTickets.com Wednesday struck a $25 million equity-for-promotion deal with CBS.

The most recent venture, a partnership between Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Cinemark USA, Regal Cinemas, Edwards Cinemas, General Cinema Theatres, and Century Theaters, doesn’t yet have a name, although it has venture backing from General Atlantic Partners and Accretive Technology Partners, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

MovieTickets.com, owned by National Amusements, Hollywood.com, and AMC Entertainment, opened Feb. 16 and on Wednesday struck a deal for CBS to take 5 percent of the company in exchange for $25 million of promotion on its media properties.

Both new companies pose threats to America Online Inc.’s Moviefone and show theater chains, some of which currently have deals with MovieFone, are moving to eliminate AOL as a middleman between them and their customers.

MovieTickets.com expects to launch on Memorial Day, just before the hot summer movie season. The six-chain venture, which does not yet have a name, will also launch this summer.

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