MovieFone announces MovieLink (777-FILM-ONLINE); First national online movie guide provides showtimes, theater locations and advance tickets through the Internet; Sandra Bullock purchases first movie ticket ever sold via the Internet for Columbia Pictures' The Net.
MovieLink is a natural extension of the successful MovieFone interactive telephone service, known by its familiar local telephone numbers such as 777-FILM. Created for the online environment, MovieLink provides local theater locations, and up-to-the-minute showtimes for every movie theater in 25 cities, as well as previews, other information and the ability to purchase advance tickets in most cities. MovieLink's services cover 10,000 movie screens, representing approximately 60 percent of U.S. movie attendance.
Internet users can access MovieLink on the World Wide Web by setting their browsers to http://www.movielink.com, or by using the appropriate local MovieFone telephone number as the URL address (for example, www.777film.com). MovieLink will also be accessible via links from Entertainment Weekly, American Express and Sony sites on the World Wide Web.
Promotional Effort Surrounding New Movie The Net
MovieLink is being launched in conjunction with a national promotional effort surrounding a major new release from Columbia Pictures: The Net. Starring Sandra Bullock and set to open July 28, The Net is, appropriately, an high-tech drama about a computer systems analyst. Ads supporting the promotion will also appear in Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, Variety and other publications. A national radio campaign will also run in conjunction with the launch.
"MovieFone's interactive telephone information and ticketing service has been a tremendously useful tool in advertising our films, and we are pleased to be a part of their evolution into the world of online services with MovieLink," said John Butkovich, senior vice president, media, Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Companies. "The Net is the perfect movie to launch this new service, and we are especially proud to be the first studio in history to sell a movie ticket over the Internet."
How MovieLink Works
These moviegoers who want quick access to movie listings can click on the "showtimes and tickets" function to instantly retrieve local theater locations and showtimes, and purchase tickets. Users can choose a movie in one of three ways: by selecting a particular title; by browsing through movie posters or titles segmented by genre; or by selecting a particular theater.
Users looking for a more leisurely online experience can enter the "MovieLink Cafe" to browse movie synopses and production information, download trailers, and "chat" with other movie fans. "MovieLink Cafe" users can also access the MPAA "Parents' Rating Guide" which provides explanations of MPAA movie ratings so parents can make more informed decisions about what movies are appropriate for their children.
Free Service Is Advertiser-Supported
"As with 777-FILM, MovieLink is free to the public because it is advertiser-supported," said J. Russell Leatherman, president of MovieFone. Just as callers to 777-FILM are greeted by a single advertisement for an upcoming film, MovieLink users are greeted with a large display advertisement for The Net, accompanied by an audio trailer for the film. This initial advertisement is followed by "banner" advertisements on each page of the site. To choose the advertised movie, users click on any of these advertisements to instantly view showtimes and tickets.
"As an advertising vehicle, MovieLink lets studios advertise to the most likely consumers of their movies at the moment when they are making a decision on which movie to see," continued Leatherman. "And when users see a compelling ad that makes them want to see the advertised movie, they can buy tickets instantly. This formula has worked very well for 777-FILM advertisers in the past and while it will be years before the computer is as ubiquitous as the telephone, our clients will want to experiment with and learn about this medium."
Every major studio, including Columbia, Disney, MGM/UA, Paramount, TriStar, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Warner Brothers, is participating in MovieLink, which is also sponsored locally by MovieFone's national network of newspaper, radio and television station sponsors.
Service Is Useful To Consumers In Their Everyday Lives
"Today, the much-touted `information superhighway' doesn't have much relevance to the average person, but MovieLink is one of the early services that will give consumers a sense of the usefulness of the Internet in their everyday lives," said Andrew R. Jarecki, chief executive officer of MovieFone. "Anyone who has a PC can get everything he or she needs to go the movies almost instantly.
"MovieFone's mission has always been to make it easier to go to the movies," continued Jarecki. "Since MovieFone's inception six years ago, we have been the leader in providing movie information through the only interactive medium that is available to everyone--the-touch-tone telephone. Interactive technology is evolving rapidly, and we will continue to adapt our information and ticketing services to make them available in every way the consumer wants them--by phone, kiosk, computer or interactive television."
MovieLink was designed by a team of software developers from MovieFone Inc. and Art technology Group, Cambridge, Mass., one of the world's foremost developers of new media technology (including Oxygen, the physical and electronic "virtual office" system for advertising innovator Chiat/Day). MovieFone's advertising agency, Ryan Drossman & Partners, created the graphics.
MovieFone is the nation's largest interactive telephone movie guide. More than a million moviegoers each week in 25 major cities use MovieFone's free directory of movie showtimes and theater locations, explanations of movie ratings and advance ticketing capabilities. Through its familiar local phone numbers (such as 777-FILM), MovieFone services cover 10,000 screens which account for 60 percent of the nation's movie attendance. MovieFone Inc. (NASDAQ:MOFN) is a public company with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Philice LeBow, 212/504-7559
Chris Clark or Kirsten Bollen, 212/546-2200
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Laura Wilker, 212/838-3777
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|Date:||Jul 25, 1995|
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