Continuing its push to control every facet of the way people discover and experience movies, ticketing site Fandango announced today that it has purchased both the movie critic aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and the discovery app Flixster. Fandango picked up the sites from Warner Bros. Entertainment, which in turn will now have a minority ownership stake in Fandango. (Lest it seem like Rotten Tomatoes is finally breaking free of the yoke of perceived conflicts of interest, it should be pointed out that Fandango is owned by NBCUniversal, meaning everybody's still staying within the larger Hollywood family.)
It's the second acquisition this year that's telegraphing larger ambitions on the part of Fandango. In January it bought video streaming service M-GO. That service, while not as high profile as Amazon Prime or Netflix, offers streaming video on mobile apps as well as to Roku boxes and both Samsung and LG TVs, amongst others. (It was also one of the first services out of the gate with 4K video delivery.) Fandango plans to relaunch M-GO later this year under its own branding, potentially staking out a claim as a single service that can provide movies to people all the way from buying theater tickets to streaming at home. Flixster Video, which lets people access their UltraViolet movie collection, is not part of the deal, but will transition its users over to the new Fandango service later this year before closing altogether.
According to the press release announcing the acquisition, Fandango also plans on teaming up with theater chains and studios to provide "super tickets" — and while no details are given beyond that, it's easy to imagine an all-in-one offering that allows audience to, say, buy a ticket for Suicide Squad later this year, and then receive a streaming video copy when it comes time for home release.