Movie review site Flixster buys rival Rotten Tomatoes from Murdoch

rottentomatoesMovie review-and-view site Flixster has agreed to purchase popular review site Rotten Tomatoes from IGN, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Much like the recent sale of Photobucket, the move is part of News Corp’s plan to jettison properties that aren’t core to its business.

flicksterThe reason for the merger is simple. The combined sites’ reach is estimated at 30 million unique visitors per month, according to a press release from Flixster. “To use movie terminology, we think this is a blockbuster double-bill,” Flixster CEO Joe Greenstein wisecracked in the release.

It’s hard to track who owns who: IGN acquired Rotten Tomatoes in 2004, and was then acquired itself by News Corp. Flixster fended off an acquisition bid from Barry Diller’s IAC last year. IGN will take a minority stake in Flixster. Got all that?

Flixster, founded in 2007 in San Francisco, has raised $7 million in funding, much of it from Lightspeed Ventures. The company has fewer than 20 employees. Rotten Tomatoes, founded in 1998 as a spare-time project by aspiring movie director Senh Duong, has gotten by on an estimated $1 million in angel funding.