Sure, you saw it at the theater, and on DVD, but you haven’t really seen it until you download the app.

I’ve been thinking for a while that apps might be platform of the future for movie sales.

Right now, there’s the iPad, and a smattering of other tablets to choose from.  But fast forward a handful of months into the future, and you might just be able to sell movie content apps on desktops (Apple’s OS X app store), set-top boxes, or even directly to TVs.  After all, what is the new Google TV standard but a version of Android with a forthcoming app store?

If you’re an independent filmmaker like me, maybe you could skip all the middlemen and sell your content directly to your audience.

And if you’re Christopher Nolan and Warner Brothers, you could create app versions of The Dark Night and Inception for the iPad.

I think that a well-crafted app can add a lot to the film-viewing experience.  You get all the “DVD extras” that have been stripped from most other digital ways to watch movies, and it provides the opportunity for more interactive experiences as well.

From the looks of it, the Warner Brothers apps include social networking features (posting a cool pic or quote from the movie makes sense.  Live streaming your Facebook feed while you watch a movie sounds strange to me), and behind-the-scenes features, alternate languages (Le Chavalier Noir), and a movie trivia quiz.

It seems to me that the one thing that’s missing (or maybe it’s not — I have to get myself an iPad so I can test drive this app) is the ability to interact with other app users who are viewing the film at the same time as you.

Sure, it’s great to post a quote from the movie you are watching to Facebook.  But how much better would it be to participate in a live chat with other enthusiasts about just what the hell is going on in Inception at any given moment?

Who knows?  Maybe the app is the way to bring the social experience of watching a movie in a dark room full of strangers together with the home theater experience of the film fanatic?

Anybody know how to get buttery popcorn fingerprints off an iPad screen…?

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