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Fandango Adds Service Aimed at Hispanics

3:15 PM on 02/25/2013

Fandango Adds Service Aimed at Hispanics

New York Times, Media Decoder

Amy Chozick

February 25, 2013

 

Hispanics buy a quarter of all movie tickets sold in the United States. But do they need their own place to buy them?

 

On Monday, NBCUniversal will find out. The media company’s movie ticket service, Fandango, in partnership with the Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo, will introduce Fandango Cine, a digital movie ticket service aimed at Latinos. The Web site and related app will operate separately from Fandango and will highlight movies, actors and original video clips meant to resonate with Hispanics.

 

The collaboration comes as box-office data points to Hispanics as a major moviegoing force, even as the industry over all has struggled. Hispanic moviegoers bought 286 million movie tickets in 2011, and they go to an average of seven movies a year, compared with five a year for non-Hispanics, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

 

At the same time, Hispanics are 68 percent more likely than non-Hispanics to watch video on the Internet, according to Nielsen. Fandango had an average of 41 million unique visitors a month in 2012, a record for the service, which charges users a fee to buy movie tickets in advance.

 

“We recognized from the data that there’s a unique audience in Hispanics in their affinity for moviegoing and mobile technology,” said Paul Yanover, president of Fandango. “That’s a pretty important audience segment we thought we could better service.”

 

In addition to movie ticket sales, Fandango Cine will include a feature highlighting Hispanic actors and directors under the heading “Overlooked by Oscar.” A segment called “Cine Buzz” will provide celebrity scoops on Latinos in Hollywood.

 

The Spanish-language Web site will also highlight movies — like “Snitch,” starring Benjamin Bratt as a Mexican drug lord, and “Bless Me, Ultima,” based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya — that won’t get prominent play on English-language Fandango but are expected to attract heavily Hispanic audiences.

 

Ever since Comcast took control of NBCUniversal two years ago, the media conglomerate has encouraged partnerships among its previously disparate divisions. Telemundo will provide video clips to Fandango Cine, which will prominently promote Universal Pictures’s “Fast & Furious 6.” A Spanish-speaking Fandango Cine movie critic will have a regular segment on Telemundo’s morning show “Un Nuevo Día.”

 

The partnership grew in part out of Telemundo’s inroads with Hollywood studios. For years, the network received quizzical glances from movie executives who were asked to advertise their English-language films during Telemundo’s lineup of Spanish-language sports, telenovelas and talk shows.

 

“Today, every single movie is Hispanic focused,” said Peter E. Blacker, executive vice president for digital and emerging media at Telemundo. “That’s a big change from when I used to go around to studios and they didn’t understand the potential.”