Atom Tickets ($PRIVATE:ATOMTICKETS) has barely been around for 2 years, but it's taking on the big guys: Fandango and And now it have the firepower to do it: A $60 million cash infusion (which should buy a lot of popcorn).

So who are these upstarts? And why do we need another movie ticket service?

Tickets with a difference

The hot ticket across the board this year seems to be integrating your shopping with your social (See: The Mall is dead, long live the Mall!). 

Along those lines, Atom doesn't just sell you a movie ticket. The service allows you to share your filmgoing plans with friends, pay separately and reserve seats together. And yes, that's huge, particularly with millennials. Atom even lets you pre-order concessions (so no more waiting in line behind people who seemingly have never ordered popcorn before).

Atom is also marketing aggressively with partners like T-Mobile and Chase Pay, including promotions for half-price tickets and free tickets.

It seems to be working, too, if Facebook mentions are any indication. Our Thinknum data trail shows:

They've also seen a boost in their Facebook Likes during the same period:

Follow the money

If they were doing the push to prove they were a viable competitor to Fandango, it worked. Investors ponied up an additional $60 million in series C funding yesterday (on top of an earlier $50 million).

Why do we need another movie ticket website?

Fandango, the dominant company in the space right now, is owned by NBCUniversal and Warner Bros, while Atom Tickets is being funded by Lionsgate, Disney and 20th Century Fox Film. As forces push toward the "Walled Garden" paradigm, you can bet the latter don't want to leave their ticket sales to the tender mercies of their rival studios.

Meanwhile, all-you-can-watch ticket service Moviepass offers a film a day for a monthly payment of less than $10 (and then your moviegoing habits are turned into marketing data which is sold to the studios).

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