updated 07:20 am EDT, Tue March 29, 2011
Warner looking to bolster digital offerings
Warner Bros. is reportedly in talks with Flixster in order to acquire it outright, which will also deliver it the Rotten Tomatoes meta-review website. According to a Hollywood Reporter source, the move is "potentially attractive" as it would align well with Warner Bros. current entertainment strategy. A deal could potentially be struck within the next two weeks.
Warners, which recently engaged in a digital distribution deal with Facebook, is interested in purchasing its own digital distribution platform. However, it would aim to keep Rotten Tomatoes as a fully separate entity so that it continues to operate as it does now. Any deal to purchase Flixster is estimated to be worth between $60 million-$90 million.
Movie studios have typically relied on third-party distribution models such as Netflix and iTunes for the digital distribution of their content. However, this leaves them unable to have complete control over their distribution channel. A move to purchase Flixster would give Warner Bros. much more flexibility over its distribution model without having to build such a mechanism from the ground up.