No skimping on Fandango

Online movie ticketer thrives, one dollar at a time, despite economy

The recession doesn't seem to be discouraging moviegoers from plunking down an extra buck or so for the convenience of buying tickets online.

Fandango is set to report today that it sold 15% more tickets during the first two months of this year compared with a year ago, while advertising revenue jumped 13%.

Traffic at Fandango.com jumped 25% in January, to 7.9 million unique visitors, compared with the same month last year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Fandango competitor MovieTickets.com declined to share data. Still, it's safe to say both online ticketers are expecting big things in the immediate future. "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" likely was huge for them on opening weekend, and both report "Watchmen" is selling well ahead of its opening Friday.

It's counterintuitive to think that, in an uncertain economy, consumers would pay more for a ticket than they have to, but it ensures seats and avoids lines, said Scott Schiller, Fandango's new senior vp advertising sales. (partialdiff)
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