Buying a movie ticket? Why not a movie-themed T-shirt? Comcast-owned Fandango to launch online store

Fandango is hoping to lure movie ticket buyers into also purchasing movie merchandise with its new FanShop.

Comcast-owned Fandango, the nation's largest online movie ticketer, is launching an e-commerce business for movie-related merchandise.

Fandango's FanShop online retail outlet will grab potential customers at their most impulsive moment — when they buy movie tickets — with themed clothing and collectibles.

Fandango's strategy has been to expand its movie-ticketing operation while also adding services or products that cater to moviegoers. It offers movie ratings through the website Rotten Tomatoes, trailers, and mobile and online destinations to purchase movies. 

Comcast, which owns one of Hollywood's biggest movie studios, Universal, has said it will look at expanding its merchandising related to Universal movies, similar to the Walt Disney Co.'s movie merchandising.

But this project is specific to Fandango and will include the cooperation of all major studios, not just Universal, Fandango president Paul Yanover said in an interview Wednesday. "Every time we do it, we are working with the studio," Yanover said.

Fandango will announce the FanShop initiative Thursday.

Growing rapidly in recent years with overseas and U.S. acquisitions, the Los Angeles-based Fandango says its FanShop will be launched in several weeks with merchandise connected to Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Warner Bros.'s Wonder Woman, and Universal's Despicable Me 3.

Fandango, which is part of Comcast's NBCUniversal subsidiary, does not release its revenues or ticket sales, though it said its business increased 30 percent in 2016 and is on a similar trajectory this year.

Yanover also did not provide projections for the potential FanShop volume. But many people will be exposed to the merchandise. Fandango says its portfolio of digital assets reaches 60 million unique visitors a month.

He said Fandango does "not want to be a big-box merchandiser" but instead  would target "movies that have a fan base." He said this would include big franchise movies — such as Star Wars and Fast and Furious — and smaller movies with a passionate following.

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