MovieTickets.com, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based joint venture launched 12 years that serves 247 exhibitors, said Wednesday that it was adding its name to a suit recently filed in Florida by exhibitor National Amusements and Hollywood Media Corp. alleging that AMC breached its contract by not selling tickets exclusively through MovieTickets.com.
On the same day Movietickets.com announced the litigation, AMC touted an agreement to expand its partnership by 3,000 screens with rival online ticketing service Fandango. The deal will expand Fandango's network in Los Angeles County by an additional 25 theaters representing 400 screens.
National Amusements and Hollywood Media, a Florida-based firm with interests in online ticketing and other services, were among the founders of MovieTickets.com, which services 19,500 theater screens in the U.S. and abroad and nearly 20 million registered users.
"Despite exhaustive efforts by MovieTickets.com to resolve the dispute among the founding shareholders, AMC disabled its ticketing inventory from MovieTickets.com,'' the company said in a statement. "This is the first time MovieTickets has ever sued anyone. The company is fully prepared to take all necessary action to protect its rights, the value and integrity of the MovieTickets.com service."
A spokesman for AMC, which is based in Kansas, City, Mo., declined to comment.
Photo: Moviegoers crowd at AMC theaters in Burbank. Credit: Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times