Comcast cut a deal with Lionsgate to offer more than four hours of bonus content from teen sci-fi movie “Divergent” to subs who purchase the movie through its Xfinity Store service, as the cable giant looks for a new way to capture more coin from customers.
And for now, the additional “Divergent” material is not available through Apple iTunes, Amazon.com Instant Video or any other digital distributor — nor will it be included in the DVD and Blu-ray editions, which are slated for Aug. 5 release.
There’s one catch: Comcast subs can only access the extras using the Lionsgate-designed iOS app, not through their cable set-top or the MSO’s own apps. The operator said in 2015, customers with X1 service will be able to access the “Divergent” app — and other subsequent apps for future titles — on the TV.
“We are providing studios with a platform to enhance the digital ownership experience by continually adding new content and experiences for customers that will immerse them in the worlds of these films like never before, first on their favorite mobile devices, and soon on the TV via X1,” said Matt Strauss, g.m. and senior VP of video services for Comcast.
In a similar strategy, Apple this month launched a new version of the iTunes Extras feature that will let Apple TV users access bonus content for purchased movies, as well as let studios dynamically update related material for their titles.
The “Divergent” content available to Comcast customers through the Lionsgate app — a total of 250 minutes of video — includes behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive red carpet content captured at the film’s Los Angeles premiere with 360-degree cameras. In addition, the bonus material includes select movie scenes that can be viewed from multiple angles and an interactive flip-book on “Divergent” costumes.
The movie went on sale in the Xfinity On Demand digital store Tuesday, as well as through other digital retailers nationwide, two weeks ahead of the DVD and Blu-ray debut. Comcast users can purchase “Divergent” for $20.99 for HD and $17.99 for SD, available on TV, smartphones, tablets and computers.
“Divergent,” which opened March 21, grossed about $150 million at the domestic box office in 16 weeks of release. The next film in the series, “Insurgent,” is slated for worldwide release on March 20, 2015.
Lionsgate was among the first studios to stock movies in Comcast’s Xfinity Store, launched last fall. The companies said Lionsgate will roll out additional title-specific apps for the cable operator’s customers for other upcoming releases.