Flixster was an American social-networking movie website for discovering new movies, learning about movies, and meeting others with similar tastes in movies. The site allowed users to view movie trailers as well as learn about new and upcoming movies at the box office. It was based in San Francisco, California and was founded by Joe Greenstein and Saran Chari in January 20, 2006.[1][3] Flixster was the parent of website Rotten Tomatoes from January 2010.[4] On February 17, 2016, Flixster, including Rotten Tomatoes, was acquired by Fandango.[5]

Flixster, Inc.
Type of businessSubsidiary
Type of site
Social networking service
FoundedJanuary 20, 2006 (2006-01-20)
DissolvedFebruary 20, 2018 (2018-02-20) (USA)
October 31, 2019 (2019-10-31) (Internationally)
Founder(s)Joe Greenstein
Saran Chari
ServicesFilm, social networking
ParentFandango Media
Alexa rank 68,957 (Global, October 2019)
LaunchedJanuary 20, 2006 (2006-01-20)


In February 2016, Fandango acquired Flixster[5] and began migrating Flixster Video users to its competing service called FandangoNow, closing the Flixster Video service.[6] On August 28, 2017, Flixster shut down its digital redemption and streaming video service and directed customers to use Vudu.[7] On December 22, 2017, the company sent an email to customers saying that it would cease all operations in the U.S. as of February 20, 2018. Starting in late January 2018, visitors to Flixster.com were encouraged to download the Flixster app or were redirected to Fandango.com. They were also directed to continue watching videos and redeeming digital codes via Vudu.

In February 2018, the Flixster website was no longer functioning and directed users to Fandango.com. Flixster Video's website and mobile apps, including UltraViolet code redemption, streaming, and downloading services are still available in various other countries, such as Canada. Flixster account holders would later have any of their purchased content sent to its competitor Vudu.

In June 2019, Flixster announced that it will shut down its streaming video services in all countries that Flixster Video operates outside of the U.S. on October 31, 2019 due to the shutdown of UltraViolet. Customers in these areas were asked to transfer their content to Google Play, although Flixster warned users that due to rights restrictions, not all videos purchased on a Flixster library would be transferable depending on country.[8]

Site information

Between November 2006 and January 2007, the number of daily page views reported for Flixster by Alexa Toolbar users rose from fewer than 20 million to around 50 million.[9] Quantcast reported that the number of global daily page views for Flixster.com peaked at 8,331,961 on January 23, 2008 and dropped to 1,325,685 by July 5, 2008.[10] Alexa stopped reporting daily page views as of June 2008; the number of page views for Flixster as a percentage decreased by almost two-thirds from mid-December 2007 to mid-June 2008.[11]

Flixster's Facebook application, Movies, was consistently one of the most popular apps on that site; its daily user totals peaked in December 2007.[12][13] By September 2010, its popularity had waned significantly; its 2.98 million monthly active users[14] placed the Movies app as the ninth most-used entertainment application on Facebook and 92nd among apps overall.[15]

Date Active Daily Users
December 4, 2007 > 800,000[16]
June 19, 2008 482,542[17]
July 15, 2008 412,401[17]

Flixster Collections, a desktop application featuring a content discovery and management system, began open beta testing on July 29, 2011.

Marketing practices

Flixster's growth was described in the trade press as attributable to "its aggressive viral marketing practices,"[18] including "the automated selection of your email account's entire address book in order to send a Flixster invitation to all of your contacts."[18] Although company claimed this procedure was an industry standard used by other services, Flixster differed in that its system automatically selected all contacts in the user's address book and required the user to manually un-select each address to prevent email from being sent to a user. Cofounder Joe Greenstein described the difference between Flixster and other sites as: "We make it easy to invite your friends. Other sites don't provide good ways for people to spread the word."[18]

As a consequence of its policy of emailing users' entire address books with advertisements for the site, the website was criticized on numerous Internet blogs.[19] At one time, email from Flixster to Hotmail users was being filtered and deleted as spam.[20]

Around August 2012, the Flixster website stopped allowing public access.

Other supported platforms

The company allowed users to watch movies on several different platforms via UltraViolet.

Social media platforms

Bebo, Facebook, MySpace, Orkut

Flixster developed applications for several social networking sites. These had many of the same features as the main Flixster site, such as ratings, reviews, and user-generated quizzes. In addition, all offered social media integration, and mobile app usage was offered free-of-charge, allowing more users to download it.[21] The first of these apps was released in June 2007 on Facebook. In March 2008, a MySpace app[22] followed, which had 3,923,506 users[22] as of July 2008. This made it the then-second most popular application on the MySpace platform.[23] In addition, Flixster also developed applications for Bebo[24] and Orkut.[25]

Mobile and desktop platforms

Android, Blackberry, iOS, Windows Phone

In August 2008, Flixster released an iOS application,[26] which allowed users to access movie showtimes, reviews, and trailers. The iPhone and iPod app for Flixster was the then-number-one movie app on the platform.[21] Flixster also released apps for Android mobile phones, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry phones.[27]

In August 2010, Flixster hit 20 million combined mobile app downloads and was ranked as the top movie app on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry.[21]

In April 2014, Flixster's app was updated with Chromecast support, allowing users to "cast" movies to a Chromecast-connected device.[28] A streaming-only app, Flixster Video, was also released.[29] The app handled only movie streaming, as this function was removed from the Movies by Flixster app.[29]

In November 2017, the Flixster app was removed from all non-U.S. stores. It was later restored in 2018, though without support for finding local movie screening times.

See also


  1. "Flixster". Crunchbase. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  2. Anthony D'Alessandro. "Fandango Acquires Rotten Tomatoes & Flixster - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  3. "Joe Greenstein - Member of the Advisory Board @ Kiva - Crunchbase". Crunchbase.
  4. Graser, Marc (January 4, 2010). "Flixster buys Rotten Tomatoes". Variety. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
  5. Sciretta, Peter (2016-02-17). "Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster Acquired By Fandango". Slashfilm. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  6. Bishop, Bryan (2016-02-17). "Fandango buys Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster so moviegoers never have to go anywhere else (ever)". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  7. Chabot, Jeff (25 August 2017). "Flixster video closing shop end of the month". HD Report. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. Ford, Jez (2019-06-19). "UltraViolet & Flixster coming to an end – how do I keep my UV movies?". AVHub.
  9. "flixster.com Site Overview". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  10. "Flixster.com Traffic and Demographic Statistics by Quantcast". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  11. "flixster.com Site Overview". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  12. This peaking is a common trend among Facebook applications, and has been generally attributed to a phenomenon termed "app fatigue".
  13. As of this date, Facebook no longer displayed daily active use, but instead reports monthly active use.
  14. Entertainment applications page at Facebook.com, accessed September 16, 2010
  15. "Facebook application directory accessed September 16, 2010".
  16. Swisher, Kara (2007-12-04). "Flixster for Sale (Again)?". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  17. "Flixster on Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  18. Crawford, Emily. "Flixster- American Venture Interview". American Venture Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-05-01.
  19. "Is Flixster a Big Fat Spammer? Are They Accessing Your AOL or Hotmail Address Book? The Answer to at Least One of These is Yes!". The Internet Patrol. 2007-03-26. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
  20. "Google Answers: Avoiding the Hotmail Spam Filter". Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  21. Siegler, MG (20 August 2010). "Flixster Hits 20 Million App Downloads. Top Movie App On iPhone, Android, And BlackBerry". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  22. "Featured Content on Myspace". Myspace. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  23. "Featured Content on Myspace". Myspace. Archived from the original on 23 December 2009. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  24. "Bebo All-In-One Streaming". Bebo.
  25. Orkut Movies Application Homepage Archived 2010-01-08 at the Wayback Machine
  26. Flixster, Inc. (11 July 2008). "Movies by Flixster, with Rotten Tomatoes". App Store. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  27. "Flixster Mobile". Archived from the original on 31 October 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  28. Crider, Michael (2014-04-05). "Flixster App Updated With Chromecast Support And MicroSD Card Downloads For Samsung Tablets". Android Police. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
  29. "What is the difference between the Movies by Flixster app and the Flixster Video app?". support.ultraviolet.flixster.com. Retrieved 2016-01-20.
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