Moviefone is an American-based movie listing and information service. Moviegoers can obtain local showtimes, theatre information, film reviews, or advance tickets. The service is owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics.
In 1989, Russ Leatherman, Rob Gukeisen, Andrew Jarecki, Pat Cardamone, and Adam Slutsky launched the interactive telephone service, with initial service in New York City and Los Angeles. Russ Leatherman provided the voice of "Mr. Moviefone" for the automated phone service. After gaining popularity, it later expanded across the United States and eventually adopted an online presence as Moviefone.com.
In 1999, AOL purchased Moviefone for $388 million.
In 2001, Moviefone entered into a partnership with MovieTickets.com that crosslinked their ticketing offerings; by 2004, Moviefone's online arm was acquired outright by MovieTickets.com. However, in 2012, Moviefone announced a partnership with MovieTickets.com's rival Fandango.
On February 23, 2014, it was reported that Moviefone would be shutting down its call-in service and its "777-FILM" phone number but would maintain its mobile app services.
On May 5, 2014, Moviefone was relaunched with a new look, an expansion into TV content, and a comprehensive search tool that allows users to find theaters, channels, and streaming services offering movies and television shows.
On April 5th, 2018, Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., the majority owner of movie ticketing service MoviePass, announced the acquisition of Moviefone from Oath Inc. for $1 million in cash and $8 million in stock.
In popular culture
- In the movie Josie and the Pussycats (2001), Mr. Moviefone is cred for providing his voice for the subliminal messages on music albums the record company uses to brainwash the masses and increase record sales. Fiona (Parker Posey) explains: "That's Mr. Moviefone. He does all our subliminal messages".
- In the movie The Sweetest Thing (2002), Christina (Cameron Diaz) gives men the AOL Moviefone number when she does not want to hear from them again. In the opening sequence, a man dials the number and the familiar voice says, "Hello and welcome to AOL MOVIEFONE!"
- In the movie 30 Minutes or Less (2011), the number used to dial the bomb vest is replaced by the number for Moviefone.
- Kansas City rapper Kutt Calhoun spoofs the use of Moviefone in his intro track for his album Feature Presentation. The skit includes someone calling KCMO Moviefone and goes through the steps to find a listing for "Kutt Calhoun: Feature Presentation."
- In one episode ("The Gift") of the Dilbert TV series, the Pointy-Haired Boss uses Moviefone to check on his IBM stock.
- Marlee Matlin (voiced by Alex Borstein) attempts to call Moviefone in the Family Guy episode "I Dream of Jesus", in order to hear showtimes for The Last Mimzy. Russ Leatherman lent his voice to the episode as well, misinterpreting Matlin's deafness-induced speech impediment and giving her showtimes for 300 instead.
- One of the subplots of the Seinfeld episode “The Pool Guy” involves Kramer discovering his phone number is almost the same as the one for Moviefone, minus the last digit. After several people inadvertently call Kramer expecting to get movie showtimes, Kramer decides to answer the calls as if he actually is Mr. Moviefone. Russ Leatherman makes a voice cameo busting Kramer at the end of the episode.
- In the 13th season episode of The Simpsons, "Blame It on Lisa", the "real" Mr. Moviefone is seen at the phone company with a woman he's about to take on a date. He advises the woman that "tonight's date is rated R, for scenes of nudity".
- In Season 7 Episode 6 of American Dad! ("The Scarlett Getter"), Stan Smith had a detective dial Moviefone from his cell phone.
- ^ "AOL buys MovieFone". CNN. February 1, 1999. Retrieved March 15, 2015.
- ^ "Press release". MovieTickets.com. 2004.
- ^ Verrier, Richard (May 23, 2012). "Fandango and Moviefone dial up new partnership". Los Angeles Times.
- ^ Lucas Shaw (May 23, 2012). "Fandango and Moviefone partner for ticket sales". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012.
- ^ "Moviefone Is Hanging Up, but Its App Will Go On". New York Times. February 23, 2014.
- ^ "Moviefone will add broadcast and on-demand TV information". May 5, 2014.
- ^ Ben Fritz (April 5, 2018). "Upstart MoviePass to Join With Cinema Service Moviefone". Wall Street Journal.
- ^ "MoviePass Just Bought Moviefone. Here's What It Means for Moviegoers". Fortune. April 5, 2018.