by Cree McCree
- Best Buy is entering the mobile-app game with a big Hollywood splash. Its new Movie Mode bows with the Minionator, a free download for Despicable Me that decodes the secret language of the impish yellow creatures in the 3-D toon.
- Movie-goers see translations on their cellphone screens while end credits roll. (In deference to fellow patrons, the app shuts off ringers and dims the screen.) Home viewers will get real-time subtitles while the movie rolls when it’s released on Blu-ray and DVD.
- Despicable Me is just the beginning. Beyond leveraging the app for future films, Best Buy is pursuing tie-ins with TV shows, videogames and music releases.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Kids love decoder devices, which date back to the Golden Age of radio. Launching Movie Mode with an app that lets fans in on house secrets is a smart move.
- Like bonus DVD features, mobile-app extras enhance the home-viewing experience, amping consumer incentive to buy releases from Best Buy.
- The more interactive the app, the bigger the promotional payoff. The Minionator sets a high standard for future tie-ins with all entertainment genres.