Online rentals and purchases of movies are still just a tiny fraction of the home video pie, but Warner's latest effort to expand that is similar to Paramount's recent efforts on Windows Phone 7 (Thanks SteveyAyo), offering its highest profile flicks as apps for iPhones and iPads. The Dark Knight and Inception are the first two releases out of the gate, offering free apps with some bonus content and the first five minutes of the movie, then charging $9.99 and $11.99, respectively to unlock the rest. According to Warner, it offers a different experience than simply purchasing the flick over iTunes because of the extras which include Twitter and Facebook integration among the extras, plus the ability to offer the digital version in countries where iTunes doesn't sell movies yet, like China, Brazil and the Netherlands. There's a video demo and press release after the break, but the downside of being locked to portable devices is keeping us from clicking the buy button for now, but if you could sprinkle some Ultraviolet on it, we might change our tune.
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Warner Bros. Digital Distribution Launches Groundbreaking 'App Editions' of Feature Films 'The Dark Knight' And 'Inception'
Studio Leads the Way with Fully-Loaded, Connected Viewing Experience Offering Downloading, Streaming, Bonus Content, Music, Games, Soundboard and Seamless Social Media Integration
LONDON., February 16, 2011 - Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD), a market leader in video-on-demand and electronic sell-through, today announced the groundbreaking launch of the "App Editions" of feature films "Inception" and "The Dark Knight," giving consumers around the world an entirely new way to own special edition movies with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The "Inception: App Edition" and "The Dark Knight: App Edition" are now available on the App Store.
App Editions provide a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives consumers the first five minutes of a feature film and a portion of bonus content that can include games, trivia, soundtracks and soundboards. The entire feature film can be unlocked via an in-app purchase, which enables downloading and unlimited streaming, as well as access to the entire array of bonus content available within the App.
The "Inception" and "The Dark Knight" App Editions are available in over 30 territories, including some which previously did not have access to films through iTunes including China, Brazil and the Netherlands. They contain fully customised menus in 16 languages including Japanese, Greek and Russian and also provide consumers movie subtitles in 34 languages ranging from Arabic to Ukrainian (streamed via WiFi). While watching the film, fans can also connect with friends by sharing their favorite movie quotes through Facebook and Twitter and watch a feed of social networking chatter directly related to the movie in real-time.
"Warner Bros. is bringing more than 100 million Apple device owners a highly innovative new way to experience their favorite films," said Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. "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. They offer a fully connected experience, allowing viewers to engage with others around the world in real-time through Facebook and Twitter. In 2011, Warner Bros. will release a full slate of App Editions including new release and catalog films."
"Inception: App Edition"
Nominated for eight Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' "Inception" stars Leonardo DiCapiro as "Dom Cobb," who's a skilled thief in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception.
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, "Inception" stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Dileep Rao, and Michael Caine. Nolan also produced the film with Emma Thomas.
"Inception: App Edition" will not only allow fans to download or stream the blockbuster film, they can also enjoy exclusive bonus materials including three never-before-released tracks from the Academy Award® nominated score composed by Hans Zimmer that can be streamed via Airplay. The App also includes concept art, productions stills, movie poster artwork, bonus video showing a behind-the-scenes look at how Christopher Nolan's unique vision was brought to life, and copies of "The PASIV Device Instruction Manual" and "The Cobol Job" comic.
The "Inception: App Edition" is available for free through the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad or at http://store.apple.com/uk/
"The Dark Knight: App Edition"
The follow-up to "Batman Begins," Warner Bros. Pictures' and Legendary Pictures' "The Dark Knight" reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of "Batman/Bruce Wayne" in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent, Batman sets out to destroy organised crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker, who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante.
The film also stars Michael Caine as "Alfred"; Heath Ledger as "The Joker"; Gary Oldman as "Jim Gordon"; Aaron Eckhart as "Harvey Dent"; Maggie Gyllenhaal as "Rachel Dawes"; and Morgan Freeman as "Lucius Fox." Nolan directed the film from a screenplay written by Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan, story by Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer. The producers are Charles Roven, Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan.
"The Dark Knight: App Edition," protected by Widevine, allows consumers to download a permanent copy of the film to their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, or stream it through the App. They can watch over three hours of bonus clips; explore a rich gallery of photos and trailers; test their film knowledge with interactive video trivia; listen to memorable one-liners and export them as ringtones; post Twitter and Facebook updates; and monitor relevant movie buzz in real time.
"The Dark Knight: App Edition" is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, or at http://store.apple.com/uk/
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About Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) oversees the electronic distribution of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group's content through Video-On-Demand, Pay-Per-View, Electronic Sell-Through and Subscription Video-On-Demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels. WBDD also distributes content through third party digital retailers and licensees. A worldwide industry leader since its inception, WBDD also manages the Studio's E-commerce sites that include WBShop.com and WarnerArchive.com.