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from the L.A. Times

Warner Bros. turns 'Inception' and 'The Dark Knight' into iPad, iPhone apps


Warner Bros. is looking to sidestep Apple's iTunes, which doesn't offer its movies through the content service in 23 countries, by turning its films into apps for the iPhone and iPad.

On Wednesday, the studio released "app editions" to the Apple App Store of its award-winning Christopher Nolan-directed films "The Dark Knight" and "Inception," as reported by The Times' Ben Fritz on the Company Town blog.

Users of devices running Apple's iOS -- the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch -- can download the movie apps for free and watch the first five minutes of the movie; games, trivia and other extras are packed in as well. To watch the full movie, users will have to pay -- $9.99 for "The Dark Knight" and $11.99 for "Inception" in the U.S.

Fritz reported on the deal Tuesday night, writing:

It's the first time that movies have been available to download on Apple's popular mobile devices outside of its iTunes Stores.

The new initiative by Warner is significant because it allows the studio to offer movies in a number of markets without waiting for Apple to launch a full digital movie store. Of the 35 countries where it will be available, 23 don't have iTunes movie downloads, including such fast-growing theatrical markets as China and Russia, along with a number of European countries including Greece, Hungary, Portugal and the Czech Republic.

"We think this is an innovative way to build a global footprint on devices that are optimized for video viewing," said Thomas Gewecke, president of digital distribution for Warner Bros.

Overseas prices range from as little as $7.99 for "The Dark Knight" in some European countries to $23.99 for "Inception" in New Zealand. In China and Russia, "Inception" costs $18.99.

Read the rest of Fritz's report on Warner Bros.' movie apps over on Company Town.


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Image: Screenshots of the app editions of "Inception" and "The Dark Knight." Credit: Warner Bros./Apple

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