Fandango is a corporation in the United States that sells film tickets over the telephone and Internet, allowing customers to make sure they have tickets and avoid lines at the movie theater. They are notable for their advertisements, which play before previews in most major movie-theater chains. The ads feature puppets made out of lunch bags, and are widely recognizable to most moviegoers.
Fandango often requires a premium ranging from 75¢ to $1.50 for using its services (with an additional surcharge for phone orders), which consist of reserving a ticket to be printed out upon arrival at a movie theater, thereby avoiding a line. Earlier advertisements also promised seating for sold out shows, but this was later dropped, as not all theaters are equipped with sufficient staff to handle reserved seating and will call lines. On top of ticket prices (that in many areas eclipse $10.00), this can make movie-going an expensive proposition; still, it is difficult many times to procure tickets to movies on their opening days without using services like Fandango, arguably turning an extravagance into more of a necessity in those circumstances. The movie holding the record for most advance tickets sold on Fandango is Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006).
Fandango is one of two major online advance movie ticket sale sites. The other, movietickets.com is publicly owned, and trades under the symbol HOLL. Fandango is a privately held corporation, with the initial major stakeholders including the two largest theater chains in the U.S., Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Theatres. The timing and the events surrounding the formation of Fandango suggest a motivation on the part of Regal and AMC to prevent monopoly power in this application from falling into the hands of Movietickets.
While revenue in this industry was rapidly increasing several years after the companies formation, small and medium sized chains were increasingly adding independent ticket sale capabilities through their own websites. In addition, a new paradigm involving moviegoers printing their tickets at home was emerging as embodied in services offered by printtixusa.com and ticketmakers.com.
Commercials for this company are played in such theaters as the Carmike Cinemas, more in the past than now. These commercials featured various brown paper bag puppets, repeating the name of the company during various one- or two-liner jokes.