Three big Hollywood studios — Fox, Disney, and Lionsgate — are leading a $50 million investment in a mobile ticketing app startup, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The soon-to-be-launched startup, called Atom Tickets, will reportedly allow movie-goers to choose a movie and showtime with friends, and then pay for their tickets as individuals or as a group. The app will also allow users to buy snacks without waiting in the concession line.
A discount to see this movie you don't want to see
The investment is proof that Hollywood's biggest studios are looking to regain a portion of control over ticketing. In the early 20th century, studios owned movie theaters, which meant they could control when and where their films were screened. But in 1948, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a violation of antitrust laws for studios to own theaters. Studios began to slowly re-enter the theater business by the mid-1980s, but a stake in online and mobile ticketing could give studios the opportunity to reach audiences before they even decide which movie to watch. Atom Tickets is reportedly considering offering discounts to movie-goers if theaters are having trouble selling tickets, in the hopes of packing less-than-full theaters.
Fandango, which is owned by NBCUniversal, also has an app, but it doesn't allow users to communicate directly with friends about which tickets they're buying. Atom Tickets is set to launch this summer.