Warner Bros. Releases Inception and The Dark Knight as Apps Instead of Just Downloads

Movie socializing becomes even more tantalizing while watching the film because moviegoers can connect with friends by sharing their favorite movie quotes through Facebook and Twitter. They can even watch a feed of social networking chatter directly related to the movie in real-time.

It looks like Warner Bros. is leading the way with fully-loaded, connected wireless viewing experience of feature movies by offering what the studio is calling “App Editions.” They are starting with Inception and The Dark Knight. The offer goes to moviegoers around the world. It is an entirely new way to own special edition movies with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.  App Editions provide a fully-loaded, connected viewing experience that gives users 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 App Editions include some territories which previously did not have access to films through iTunes including China, Brazil and the Netherlands. They contain fully customized 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).

Movie socializing becomes even more tantalizing while watching the film because moviegoers can connect with friends by sharing their favorite movie quotes through Facebook and Twitter. They can even watch a feed of social networking chatter directly related to the movie in real-time.

With 100 million Apple device owners, Warner Bros. sees an untapped market of potential users and buyers. Thomas Gewecke, President of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution agrees, “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.”

Let’s get familiar with the process by taking a look at these two App Editions, which are now available.

Not only will the Inception: App Edition 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. 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 Dark Knight: App Edition allows users 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, and explore a rich gallery of photos and trailers. They can test their film knowledge with interactive video trivia, or listen to memorable one-liners and export them as ringtones. They can even post Twitter and Facebook updates and monitor relevant movie buzz in real time.

The fact that a large studio is leading the way with fully-loaded, connected wireless viewing of feature films sets a whole new standard for special edition movies.  Personally, I still want to experience the movie in a theater or IMAX 3D before I see a feature film on a mobile device.