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Best Buy Launches Theatrical/DVD Movie App

14 Jun, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Best Buy Co. June 14 said it bowed the first-of-its-kind mobile phone application designed to enhance user experiences for the July 9 theatrical 3D and future DVD/Blu-ray Disc releases of Despicable Me from Universal Pictures and Universal Studios Home Entertainment, respectively.

The free app is available at (www.BestBuyMovieMode.com) and compatible on most mobile platforms, including iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

Minneapolis-based Best Buy, which recently bowed its CinemaNow-branded movie download service, is attempting to establish consumer links between the ever-changing distribution windows for Hollywood movies.

For Despicable Me, the app, dubbed “The Minionator,” acts as a translator during the 3D theatrical end credits for the special language of the Minions, the mischievous little yellow characters in the CGI-animated movie (featuring the voice of Steve Carell). The app will translate the Minion language throughout the movie’s DVD/Blu-ray Disc release later this year.

The app can locate the nearest movie theaters playing the film, automatically dims the mobile screen, silences the ringer and discourages texting while inside the theater. It also accesses additional digital content online.

“The innovative technology … provides us with an opportunity to evolve with customers into the growing digitally connected world,” said Chris Homeister, SVP and GM of the home entertainment group at Best Buy.

Leading up to the film’s debut, Best Buy’s Reward Zone Silver members will have an opportunity to attend one of several pre-screenings of Despicable Me in 20 markets across the country. RZS members can also visit www.myrewardzone.com to enter for a chance to win tickets to the film’s June 27 premiere in Los Angeles.

Separately, Best Buy is offering the June 15 release The Book of Eli for $15.95 via electronic sellthrough on CinemaNow. The Warner Home Video title is also available on DVD/Blu-ray for $17.99 and $25.99, respectively. Finally, Best Buy is selling its house-brand Insignia Blu-ray player with Netflix and Pandora access for $99, the retailer’s lowest-ever price for an Internet-connected disc player.

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