'Inception' and 'Dark Knight' release enhanced apps
Thursday 17 February 2011
In an effort to meet demand for films to be digitally availability online, film studios are introducing new direct ways to bring films to consumers through mobile phones with the launch of App Editions.
With video-on-demand increasing 45 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal, replacing DVD rentals and purchases is important, and Warner Bros. is circumventing services such as Netflix and YouTube.
Christopher Nolan's Inception and The Dark Knight are the first two films to be released with apps for the iPhone and iPad, Warner Bros. announced February 16.
The App Editions provide a "connected viewing experience" with hours of bonus content, the press release explained. Inception provides extra music tracks, art, photography, behind-the-scenes video, and prequel comic The Cobol Job. The thriller starring Leonard DiCaprio is an Oscar contender for Best Film.
The first five minutes of the film are available to view for free within the app. For those who decide to purchase the entire film, it can be unlocked within the app, permitting users to download a permanent copy or stream it. New releases such as Inception are $12 and catalog films like The Dark Knight cost $10.
Inception: App Edition and The Dark Knight: App Edition are available at the App Store in more than 30 markets. Previously, countries such as China, Brazil and the Netherlands have not had access to films on iTunes. Customized menus are available in 16 languages and subtitles are available in 34 languages from Arabic to Ukrainian.
Another feature allows friends to connect through Facebook, Twitter and social networks at films' chat sites in real-time while watching the film.
"For many, watching a movie is a social activity and App Editions are the first mobile product to deliver this capability on a global scale," said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.
A full slate of App Editions from Warner Bros., including new releases and catalog films, will be released sometime in 2011.
Fox Studios also joins the mobile movie business, releasing Unstoppable, the runaway train action-thriller starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine, on Blu-ray, allowing the consumer to transfer the film and extra features to Android phones.
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