Fandango Makes Movie Tickets Hands-Free on the Apple Watch

"We're entering the future," says Fandango president Paul Yanover. "Where's your ticket? It's on my wrist."

This story first appeared in the May 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Fandango is bringing movie tickets to the wrist. The ticketing company will launch one of the Apple Watch's first entertainment apps April 24, when the gadget begins shipping to customers. Much like Fandango's mobile-phone app, its watch app will present scannable bar codes on the screen. "We're entering the future," says Fandango president Paul Yanover. "Where's your ticket? It's on my wrist."

The app also features theater directions, seat information and even a countdown clock to showtime. Although it can't yet process ticket purchases, it does offer movie trivia and eventually will let people rate the film they just watched. Preorders for the highly anticipated Apple Watch opened April 10, and KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo estimates that more than 2.3 million units already have been ordered. Although that number represents a fraction of iPhone owners, it still outpaces sales of other smartwatches.

Early demand has caused Apple to delay in-store purchases of the device, which for now only can be bought online. Fandango, which sells tickets to more than 26,000 screens nationwide and has more than 36 million monthly online visitors, has been quick to adopt Apple tech, developing an early iPhone app and becoming one of the Passbook app's first partners. And though the Watch still is a new device, Yanover already sees potential for it to change the ticketing industry the way the smartphone did: "Apple Watch and wearable tech will usher in another wave of improvement to the experience."

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