Universal

Is it dawn of the dead for official movie websites?

The very first experience of the internet I ever had was visiting an official movie website. 

In 1997, via a dial-up connection at my girlfriend’s parents’ house and supervised by her pale older brother, I typed in a URL I found in Empire magazine: www.austinpowers.com

It looked exactly as you’d imagine. A static image of Austin Powers with whatever character Liz Hurley played in it (again this was 1997), along with a couple of Flash enabled games, a few still images and the odd ‘high quality’ screensaver. 

I doubt there was a trailer. If there was, it would have taken three hours to load.

Unfortunately 17 years later things haven’t really improved. Even in this age of parallax scrolling and HTML5-festooned web experiences, most official movie websites are still clunky and follow exactly the same template…

Movie theatres kill interesting movie rental experiment

Traditional media companies, like movie studios, are often criticized for their lack of innovation. But an experiment planned by Universal highlights just how tough progress can be.

Last week, it was revealed that the company planned a limited experiment in two mid-size cities in the United States. The experiment: for $59.99, consumers would be able to rent the movie Tower Heist while it was still in theatres and well before it became available as a traditional VOD rental.