Flixster buys RottenTomatoes

IGN Ent. will have minority stake in reviews aggregator

News Corp. unit IGN Entertainment has sold its movie review Web site RottenTomatoes to movie-info site Flixster on unspecified financial terms.

The Fox studio parent will maintain a minority stake in the reviews aggregator.

Based in San Francisco, 3-year-old Flixster specializes in movie theater listings and also offers film trailers. Visitors can post comments about movies in current release.

RottenTomatoes -- an 11-year-old site with operations in Brisbane, Calif. -- assigns a score to new film releases based on the number of positive and negative reviews the movies receive from critics. Main competitors include the Web site Metacritic.

Flixster and RottenTomatoes have partnered on initiatives in the past. Those include a move to link critic reviews from RottenTomatoes to Flixster's online movie community, both on the Web and via Flixster's mobile apps.

"To use movie terminology, we think this is a blockbuster double bill," Flixster chief Joe Greenstein said. "It's a huge step forward in our goal of connecting users to their own personalized world of movies on any platform they choose."

IGN Entertainment president Roy Bahat is joining the Flixster board.

"Joining RottenTomatoes with Flixster creates a company that can dominate the online movie category," Bahat said.

Officials said IGN was offloading control of RottenTomatoes as the company continues to "refocus its efforts on building out its suite of game-related and men's lifestyle offerings." IGN recently launched Game On, a video game-dedicated portal on Web site MSN.
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