James Dennin, Kapitall: Disney is making apps to go along with re-releases of their classic movies. Is it a sign of what's to come?
The mayor of Los Angeles is freaking out because no one seems to want to shoot movies anymore. At least not in LA.
He's worried about a city that relies largely on the entertainment industry in a time when movies get left behind, as waves of new technology seem to render the silver screen obsolete.
[Read more on Entertainment from Kapitall: Netflix Disrupts TV Again, Will Traditional Cable Waive the White Flag?]Which would be bad news for a stock like Disney (DIS). The company recently bought the Star Wars franchise for over $4 billion, with plans to release three movies over the next six years – and potentially several more. They've even recruited the original Luke Skywalker, Mark Hammill, who has been reportedly bulking up for the role. However, with all these long-term investments in the pipeline, one of America's most storied entertainment companies could be in serious trouble if enthusiasm for the movie industry continues to wane. But of course family-friendly Disney won't go down without a fight. Disney has recently partnered with Apple (AAPL) in a bid to make movies more interactive. So this fall, those especially squirmy children who just can't sit still during movies can be placated with an iPad app that links up to the action on screen. As Mashable noted in their review of the experience – which launched with The Little Mermaid - there's a new game, treasure hunt, or trivia activity every couple of minutes. And Disney plans to release a full "two-screen" version of The Nightmare Before Christmas later this year. As for now there are some clear problems. For one, the program only works with Apple iPads, meaning only about half of the tablet-owning public will be able to download the special app. There is some hope to weave the two-screen experience into content geared toward adults, which I imagine to be much less annoying.