Global online ticketing service MovieTickets.com has joined a lawsuit filed against one of its founding shareholders, AMC Entertainment Inc., the nation's second-largest theater chain.
MovieTickets.com, a Boca Raton, Fla., joint venture launched 12 years ago 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, owned by NBCUniversal. Previously, Fandango handled tickets for fewer than half of AMC screens, servicing the chain's former Loews and Kerasotes locations, which AMC acquired in recent years.
National Amusements and Hollywood Media, a Florida 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 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, based in Kansas City, Mo., declined to comment.