‘Made in Hollywood’ Producer Buys Moviefone for $1.1 Million – 20 Years After It Sold for $388 Million

Helios & Matheson filed for bankruptcy after blowing through millions of dollars to keep its MoviePass business up and running

Last Updated: March 25, 2020 @ 12:52 PM

Updated March 25, 2020 to include the identity of the buyer.

Cleveland O’Neal III, the Emmy-winning producer and distributor of the “Made in Hollywood” TV franchise, has emerged as the buyer of movie times listing company Moviefone. Helios & Matheson Analytics sold its movie times listing company Moviefone for $1.075 million out of bankruptcy, according to a Thursday court filing.

O’Neal’s Born In Cleveland LLC had the winning bid for Moviefone, followed by FOMOPOP Inc., which offered $1.050 million for the company. O’Neal is best known for the syndicated TV series “Made in Hollywood,” which is currently in its 15th season on major station groups including CBS and FOX O&O’s, available in over 107 million U.S. homes with over 600 hours of programming.

“The integration of Made In Hollywood’s TV assets with Moviefone’s iconic digital, mobile and social assets is a perfect marriage of entertainment brands providing a 360 solution for our advertising, studio, broadcast and streaming partners across multiple platforms,” O’Neal said in a statement.

Founded in 1989, Moviefone recently attracted more than 6 million unique monthly visitors to its site for movie showtimes and tickets, trailers, TV schedules, streaming information, cast and crew interviews, photo galleries and more.

AOL bought the movie-ticketing and listing company in 1999 for $388 million in stock. In 2001, Moviefone entered into a partnership with MovieTickets.com in order to crosslink the ticketing. MovieTickets then outright acquired Moviefone’s online arm in 2004, before Moviefone, in 2012, inked a partnership with Fandango.

Helios & Matheson bought Moviefone from Oath (formerly AOL and Yahoo!) in 2018 for $8 million. The company paid $1 million in cash for Moviefone and offered Oath roughly $14 million in options of Helios and Matheson stock.

“This natural alignment between MoviePass and Moviefone will help us grow our subscriber base significantly and expand our marketing and advertising platform for our studio and brand partners,” MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said in a statement at the time. “Moviefone has been a go-to resource for entertainment enthusiasts for years, and we’re excited to bolster its presence and bring this iconic platform into the entertainment ecosystem of the future.”

Helios & Matheson, the parent company of the defunct movie theater subscription service MoviePass, filed for bankruptcy back in January after blowing through millions of dollars to keep MoviePass up and running.

Throughout a tumultuous 2018, MoviePass managed to stave off bankruptcy and find itself embroiled in shareholder lawsuits amid claims of fraud. And to put a cap on the oddity of the company’s struggles, in March, it was forced to re-report third-quarter financial results, due to initially believing it had more subscribers than it did. That resulted in a bigger reported net loss for the quarter, ballooning to $146.7 million from the previously reported $137.2 million.

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