Those watching movies at home who also want to play games, explore maps or look at the sets among other things will have a chance to do so as the result of an agreement between Comcast and its Universal Pictures along with Paramount, Lionsgate and Sony Pictures.
The studios have agreed to offer “enhanced extras” — many of them interactive — in some digital download movies that Comcast subscribers buy and watch via its X1 platform. They’ll be available in a sidebar while the movie is playing, as well as afterward.
Different titles will have different features. Comcast says that it “expects to add more studios and movies into 2017.”
About half of Comcast’s 22.4 million video customers have X1.
The extras include what Comcast calls “dynamic, interactive and contextually integrated Internet content directly within the movie-watching experience” as well as “photo galleries and video clips that contextually update as the movie plays, allowing viewers to browse and enjoy content relevant to specific moments in the film.”
Comcast will kick off the initiative by offering X1 users a free opportunity to sample the enhanced extras for 16 films for 10 days, ending on Christmas Day. Extras will be on display for films including The Secret Life of Pets, Jason Bourne, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Star Trek Beyond, Hotel Transylvania 2, Underworld, Nerve and Warcraft.
It’s a “ground-breaking innovation to redefine the home entertainment movie-watching experience,” said Daniel Spinosa, Comcast Cable GM of Movies, Pay-Per-View and Commerce. The No. 1 cable provider is working with content creators “to deliver next-generation, enhanced entertainment experiences for all content including movies, events, sports and news.“
Michael Aaronson, SVP Digital Distribution at Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, said he’s “optimistic that collectively we can inspire broad adoption across the digital landscape and usher in a new category of entertainment.”
Tripp Wood, SVP of Digital Sales and Distribution at Paramount Home Media Distribution, noted that one feature, called Scene Peeler, will give Star Trek Beyond viewers “an inside look at the visual effects process by allowing them to check out scenes from pre-vis through to the final version within the movie itself. This kind of immersive feature enhances the viewing experience and gives fans a deeper appreciation of the film making process.”