The romantic infatuation between movies and mobiles is now touching serious limits, as most young movies prefer to embrace mobiles in one form or the other – trailers, promos, games, et al.
By Rakesh Raman
Among the recent ones is Hannah Montana Star Moves mobile game, which is available on major wireless carriers. It’s a story-driven adventure in which Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana must outsmart aspiring pop star Mikayla, all while keeping Hannah’s big secret.
The trailers are available for download free-of-charge to Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones at select cinemas and other public locations throughout Germany. The interactive trailers offer the mobile viewer a one-click access to “Fast & Furious” sweepstakes contest and allows them to purchase movie tickets for the screenings of the film in select cinema chains in Germany.
While movie makers are increasingly offering film-based mobile games, iPhone family of devices are among the most popular handsets. For example, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution offered the Last Legion Games’ ‘Watchmen: Justice is Coming’ online multiplayer game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game is based on the film Watchmen, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Paramount Pictures, in association with Legendary Pictures.
As Paramount Digital Entertainment is moving aggressively in the movie-mobile convergence market by bringing a slew of games on iPhones, it brought Shooter! The Official Movie Game produced in collaboration with Artificial Life for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Mobile craze is catching up even in underdeveloped film markets like India. Here movie makers using archaic production systems roll out a large number of films without any quality. However, they’re now trying to leverage the reach of mobile devices in the country.
Last year, a free mobile entertainment service mywaves entered Bollywood (a loose term for Mumbai-based Indian film industry) by signing a deal with Mukta Arts, a leading film studio. The partnership was supposed to cover mobile marketing, trailers, interviews, music videos, and outtakes of its films, beginning with Mukta Arts’ film, Yuvvraaj.
The Indian film producer had decided to use mywaves “click to download” advertising unit to help users get free Yuvvraaj wallpapers for their phones. Ringtones of popular Hindi film songs are already being used here by millions of mobile users.
Film vendors’ eyes are obviously on the huge global mobile market, currently hovering around 4 billion mobile connections. Though all of these devices can’t support multimedia content like games or videos, still there are millions of smartphone users who could be potential movie content consumers. Plus, mobile operators would also be keen to bring their ARPU (average revenue per user) levels up by delivering high-quality entertainment content mainly based on Hollywood movies to mobile users.
Paramount Digital Entertainment and Freeverse are offering Days of Thunder, a stock car racing game for the iPhone and iPod touch from the Apple’s App Store. Paramount says it’s an action-packed excitement of full contact stock car racing while battling the field and racing your way to the finish line.
Paramount seems to have tremendous faith in mobile phones to promote its flicks. In December last year, it had introduced Iron Man: Aerial Assault game for the iPhone and iPod touch. The game is based on the 2008 Marvel Studios film released by Paramount Pictures.
Also last year, Paramount and mobile game developer and publisher Magmic Games had launched mobile game on Eagle Eye, based on DreamWorks’ “Eagle Eye.” The game was designed in parallel with the movie’s climactic plot.
Games vendors are equally aggressive. Glu Mobile, a leading mobile games publisher, will launch a mobile game based on the summer blockbuster movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The movie is scheduled to be released on June 26, from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, in association with Hasbro.
Moreover, Gameloft, a developer and publisher of video games on mobile phones and consoles, has signed a licensing agreement with Fox Mobile Entertainment to develop, publish, and distribute the mobile game of the upcoming Fox action adventure-comedy Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
Movies-on-mobiles market will get further impetus with the availability of movies on another category of popular smartphones – BlackBerry. Now, BlackBerry App World is launched in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on April 1. It’ll provide BlackBerry smartphone users with easy access to games, social networking, and productivity applications on-the-go.
As games are being introduced for Android-powered devices, such as the T-mobile G1, you can hope to see movie-based content on them as well.
Though there are issues such as mobile’s form factor, short battery life, weak networks in most markets, and so on, still mobile screen is fast becoming the fourth most popular entertainment screen after theater, TV, and computer.
With the evolution taking place in the mobile market, it may soon be possible to deliver full-length feature film on a mobile device. So be ready to watch the next blockbuster on your mobile handset.
Now, it’s time for intermission.
Rakesh Raman is the managing editor of My Techbox Online.