Comcast's Fandango grabs Peruvian online movie ticketer

Comcast Corp.'s Fandango online movie ticketer has purchased South America's online Cinepapaya, expanding into Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru.

Terms were not disclosed. Fandango noted that the Latin American box office has grown by 31 percent since 2011, to $3.4 billion in sales in 2015.

Last year, Los Angeles-based Fandango purchased the largest online movie ticketer in Brazil, Ingresso.com.

Paul Yanover, Fandango president, said Thursday that the Comcast subsidiary has "become a significant player in online movie ticketing in South America," an area he called "one of the highest-growth box office regions in the world." Of Lima-based Cinepapaya, he said: "It's much more than Peru." 

Yanover said he viewed Cinepapaya as a start-up that has "gone from an idea to a real live product." He first came into contact with Cinepapaya managers in 2015 at the movie-theater trade show in Las Vegas called CinemaCon, then asked about the service on a vacation with his family to Peru. 

Among those Yanover asked about the Peruvian firm was a food-tour guide, he said,  and "what she described to me was how someone would describe Fandango in the United States."

The largest online movie ticketer in the United States, Fandango says its U.S. business is up 40 percent this year. It does not provide revenue figures. More than 70 percent of online tickets are sold on smartphones, the company says. 

Under Yanover, Fandango has rapidly expanded its business with acquisitions and by pushing mobile-based movie-ticketing. Among those acquisitions were Movieclips and the movie-rating service Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango officials note that about half the traffic to Rotten Tomatoes comes from overseas.

Fandango calls Movieclips the No. 1 movie-trailers channel on YouTube. Fandango reaches 60 million unique visitors a month, according to comScore data. As it grows globally, Yanover said, the company would use both U.S. and local brands.

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