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RealTime IT News

Coming Attractions

Hollywood.com (HOLL) is looking to make waves with its latest planned acquisition that'll take it from the big-screen to Broadway.

Straight from the cut-ups that created the wildly popular Sci-Fi Channel, the newcomers are on the move to add a little sophistication to a otherwise steady diet of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

For a cool two and half million bucks, Hollywood.com has unveiled plans to scoop up BroadwayTheater.com, expanding from theater to theatre.

The latest addition anchors a newly launched Broadway.com portal that's smartly devoted to the wide world of live stage entertainment. The hybrid will host show info, ticket sales, and bios on your favorite Broadway stars.

Don't look now, but Hollywood.com is headed from the doghouse to the penthouse, with strategic moves that include the handy acquisition of CinemaSource, an online source for movie showtimes. And add CBS' (CBS) longstanding practice of swapping equity for air time that led to a $100 million ad exchange for a 35% equity stake in Hollywood.

The company hit the new issues market pre-Internet back in 1994 as Big Entertainment. Started as an offline memorabilia biz that included hawking movie studio trinkets, action figures, and T-shirts, Big E burst onto the Web with its $31 million land-grab of movie supersite Hollywood.com from Times Mirror (TMC).

Not surprisingly, the company scrambled to adopt the far sexier, snazzy Hollywood.com nomenclature as its own. Overnight, the up-and-comer added movie reviews, trailers, and an extensive collection of cinema content to its basket of offerings.

There's plenty of rivals competing for investor dollars, but this latest deal looks like a step in the right direction to add an additional revenue stream, and boost its sagging share price.

Despite struggling near its 52-week low, Hollywood has a full plate ahead. With its soon-to-launch ambitious MovieTickets.com joint venture alongside AMC Entertainment scheduled to launch this summer, investors should get an eye-full of this rising star coming to a theater near you.

Any questions or comments, love letters or hate mail? As always, feel free to forward them to kblack@internet.com.

DealTracker scorecard: Hollywood.com/BroadwayTheater.com

Investor sentiment A-
Terms of the deal A-
Industry outlook B+
Overall scorecard A-