There's been a lot of talk about the Twitter Effect making or breaking movies. Movie makers like Tim Burton are also using social networks to promote movies like Alice in Wonderland while they are still in production. Now mobile apps have become the latest trend used by movie studios to grab the attention of prospective movie-goers in advance of a movie's release.
It was noted at Apple's recent 'It's only Rock and Roll' event in Yerba Buena, California on 09-09-09 that their App Store has seen over 1.8 billion downloads since its launch. This market is fertile ground for studios to use the app format as a means to connect with audiences worldwide in advance of a movie's debut.
The Yankee Group, a research firm is in the process of publishing a forecast titled "The Mobile App Gold Rush" which estimates that four out of five apps in the US are free downloads and are becoming an intrinsic component of a movie's marketing plan.
Carl Howe, the director of the Anywhere Consumer Research group at Yankee Group notes that apps with social networking capabilities are valuable since they can "create a network of activists to drive box office."
In September, Henri Moissinac, head of Facebook mobile, unveiled 'Facebook Connect for the Mobile Web' and predicted that what they were able to do for photo-sharing, they are now "going to do for mobile applications."
Zombieland, an upcoming post-apocalyptic zombie comedy directed by Ruben Fleisher and starring Woody Harrelson is scheduled for release on October 2, 2009. Its app was released in August by Sony Pictures. Along with offering a virtual antidote that gamers use to heal a zombie bite, the app integrates with Facebook Connect so you connect directly from the app to your Facebook status to let friends know you have used the bite scan application.
Sony is also releasing a "Voltron" mobile game in December (the actual movie release date is still undetermined) as well as social-network friendly apps based on a remake of the "The Karate Kid" (June 2010) and "Salt" (July 2010) starring Angelina Jolie.
And while I prefaced in the title of this blog I couldn't promise you popcorn, I can offer you a 'must-have' movie app for all you die-hard film fans with weak bladders.
RunPee Mobile is the app that tells you at which point in a movie you can safely "run" and "pee" without missing a critical plot point of the movie. Each PeeTime alerts you to how many minutes into the movie each Pee Time allows, how many minutes you have before missing something important - and best of all - exactly what you'll miss while you're away! At $1.99, it sounds like it solves an age-old problem!