Big pix should equal big sites

'X-Men 2' loads up on extras

So, you’re building a movie Web site. Well, first, get the basics straight. Put the movie’s opening date front and center. Then, trowel on a layer of synopsis, cast list, crew, photos, production notes, the trailer and some method to entice visitors to leave their email address. If you’ve got a budget, build in a screensaver (consumers seem to love them, ignoring the fact that they’re not needed for any relatively modern computer monitor), multiple translations, a nice piece of art for use as a desktop image, and perhaps some additional video clips. Tah dah, instant online destination! But some sites do more, and I’ll be highlighting those sites that offer something extra here, starting with two upcoming big budget films.

The movie site for the X-Men sequel adds some nice features on top of the basic foundation. The main site requires you to use a three-dimensional animated environment as an interface to the regular offerings of photos, story and clips. I couldn’t get any video to load from inside the main part of the site, though the interface itself is quite spectacular.

The site provides a countdown clock you can download and run on your Windows computer, which pushes news updates directly to you regularly. It’s big and neat to run once, but I don’t know that I’d leave it on all the time because it has no other functionality. The movie site crosslinks over to an entertaining site co-branded with Mazda to promote the RX-8 used by one of the film’s heroes. To navigate that ad site, you have to drive a car around the screen. This is time-consuming, but great fun if you’re just idly surfing, which is exactly the audience Mazda seems to be aiming for.

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