EDITORIALS

Fandango Launches Barcoded Mobile Movie Tickets Concept

by
March 16, 2010

Fandango Mobile Ticket

This week I'm in Las Vegas attending the ShoWest convention for theater owners and exhibitors. The show has a focus on all things movie theaters and is occasionally a launching ground for cool new concepts related to moviegoing. Fandango have just launched a new style of online movie ticketing that uses barcodes and digital tickets on your mobile device. Remember when "print at home" tickets were a big innovation? This is the next step, allowing moviegoers to simply buy tickets and show a barcode at theaters to get in, instead of printing anything. Sounds like a cool idea and I'd love to see this at all of my local theaters, too. Read on!

"We know that Mobile Ticket will be one more Fandango convenience that moviegoers will enjoy. Our cell phones are with us all the time – so what better way to ensure you have your movie ticket?" Fandango's COO Rick Butler said. The company rolling out their new "Mobile Ticket" program in Reading Cinemas theaters found in 8 cities around the country, with more to come, including: New York, New Jersey, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, Bakersfield, Sonoma County, and Hawaii. You can find a full list of theaters on TechCrunch. For those curious, competitor MovieTickets.com (who reps the other half of most theaters) is also developing a similar concept (Film Journal - January, 2010). The photo above came attached to Fandango's press release.

As simple, smart, and innovative as this sounds, I have a feeling movie theater chains will be slow to adopt the technology, but at least Fandango (who already has partnerships with the big movie theater chains) can pressure them into implementing this. However, theaters would need to purchase barcode scanners and the minimum wage ticket-rippers will need to be more demanding about showing tickets, or phones. Fandango says the "benefit is that moviegoers can simply take their mobile phones straight to theater ticket-takers… allowing customers to bypass the box office windows and kiosks." So no more waiting in any lines, I guess?

One of the coolest technology-related experiences I've ever had was checking in and boarding an American Airlines flight using nothing but a virtual version of my plane ticket displayed on my iPhone. Remarkably, the airport security even had a barcode scanner for the phone that they used. Not only is it extremely easy to pull up a ticket on the phone and manage (and you can't really lose a ticket like that), it's healthier for the environment since no one is wasting paper printing tickets (either at home or at the theater). I fully support this idea and I hope it's successful enough at the movie theaters it's currently implemented in to eventually expand nationwide. Is anyone else looking forward to using these Mobile Tickets from now on?

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Reader Feedback - 21 Comments

1

This is a great idea, and I'd gladly support it...as long as they don't add another 2-3 dollars onto the price of my ticket. If they do that, get ready to rip my ticket like you always have.

Nada Nuff on Mar 16, 2010

2

Does sound ideal. So long as they doubly enforce that you turn your phone off during the movie.

Voice of Reason on Mar 16, 2010

3

Indeed a great convenience, already use the technology for other types of tickets. Only problem is the complete reliance on technology, when the system crashes lines will be waaaay bigger than normal..

Henjo on Mar 16, 2010

4

We've just gone Japanese.

Nethanel on Mar 16, 2010

5

Now it will be much easier to sneak into the film...use your phone to get in send it out with another friend and bring it a different friend with the same phone. How will they implement security measures with either this ticket system or for that matter electronic airline tickets on personal cell phones? Just thinking ahead here...

birddog on Mar 16, 2010

6

I'll stick to the old fashion way.

People's Champ on Mar 16, 2010

7

@5 You don't know how barcodes work? They'll all be unique and once scanned, it's in the system. If someone tries to use it again, they'll know.

eric on Mar 16, 2010

8

it should be configured that it automatically turns your phone to silent when you display the ticket, so it serves a dual function. shows your ticket and silences your phone!

dave13 on Mar 16, 2010

9

the GM of the theater i work at is actually in vegas right now attending this. i hope we get it at the regal i work at

mattg on Mar 16, 2010

10

@5 when we scan the tickets people bring in from home twice, it will show up on the scanner as a re-admit, showing we already scanned the ticket

mattg on Mar 16, 2010

11

Yea I know its a better way and eco free, no more paper!!!!! Thanks Avatar. But I also know that in Mexico Cinepolis is doing that for more than a year now, and for unknown reason people are not reserving with the digital ticket.

Alexander Gramlich on Mar 16, 2010

12

Alex, I live in Vegas, get me a ticket to the convention!!! haha!....no seriously though, do it!

Cmurder on Mar 16, 2010

13

I personally collect ticket stubs, so I'll pass.

blum on Mar 16, 2010

14

11 - totally agree 5 - Ive done this with regular tickets, when in a large group.

Al on Mar 16, 2010

15

Also, your assuming everyone has a cell phone/ with a cell phone is willing to do this. dumb.

Al on Mar 16, 2010

16

Now if the fuckers can remember to keep the phones turned off during the movie.

wm on Mar 16, 2010

17

Alex, do they check your I.D. at the airport when you use your phone?

wm on Mar 16, 2010

18

The Everyman chain of cinemas in London already has a similar system - when purchasing you can request that your ticket be sent to your phone via SMS. That SMS contains a link to a web page containing the ticket barcode.

paul haine on Mar 16, 2010

19

bad idea, im sure someone will find a way how to counter-fit these digital barcodes

DaftPUNKFAN on Mar 16, 2010

20

I actually meant to agree with 13, for some some reason it said it was post 11 a few hours ago.

Al on Mar 16, 2010

21

I have every ticket stub to every movie I've seen for the past 20 years so I think this blows..

GIGERBRICK on Mar 17, 2010

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