Moviepass Just Bought Moviefone, Which Is Somehow Still a Thing

Long live the all-knowing, disembodied voice of the cineplex!

April 6, 2018 9:00 am

MoviePass: So powerful, it’s resurrecting old technology. From the ‘90s!

The movie-ticket subscription service — pay a bit less than $10 a month, see as many movies as you want — just announced it was buying the remnants of Moviefone. You probably haven’t thought of Moviefone in a long time, except when it pops up on a Seinfeld rerun, and for good reason: there’s really no need in 2018 to buy a movie ticket over the phone.

Recently, Moviefone has become little more than a listings page for movie times and Netflix debuts, which explains the sale price: $1 million in cash to current owner Oath (Verizon) and $8 million worth of common shares, with warrants to purchase up to $14 million worth of stock. In 1999, the service was purchased for $388 million by AOL.

Why bother at all? As MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe told CNNMoney, “Our subscribers want to connect with Hollywood and hear more about what’s going on in the film industry,” Lowe said. “They’d like to have MoviePass recommend movies to them, and Moviefone is iconic.” So it seems like a way to leverage the years of content and users Moviefone has built up, and possibly turn it into something of a Fandango competitor.

Let’s hope the revamped service has voice integration.

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