Expansion Efforts

Will Idea-Starved Hollywood Turn to Apps?

If only there were an app for original movie ideas.
 Will Idea Starved Hollywood Turn to Apps?

We’re skeptical, too. (Photo: App Store)

As anyone who still can’t believe that the Battleship movie was a real thing (seriously, wtf) will no doubt testify, Hollywood is looking a little strapped for ideas lately. Well, New York Times reports that an unlikely savior might be materializing on the horizon: smartphone apps.

So it’s come to this.

The Times profiles the brand extension efforts of one mobile startup in particular–Outfit7, which is responsible for the Talking Tom app, featuring such memorable characters as “Tom, an irreverent cat, and Ben, a gassy dog.” Yup, that sounds about right. 

Of course, Outfit7 isn’t exactly striking out into the untamed wilderness–an Angry Birds movie is already due to hit screens sometime in 2015.

But for an app that doesn’t occupy quite the same amount of cultural bandwidth, matters are a little more complicated. There’s the fact that, as Zynga learned with Draw Something, the popularity of these games is sometimes more viral than sustainable.

Nor is the development process as simple as cutting a deal with a kids’ channel, because the app’s users occupy an unusually wide swath of the age spectrum–stretching from 13 to 44, equally split between guys and gals–and the thing about a kids’ show is that it “could make Talking Tom uncool for men in their 20s.” Yes, and it could also make them look like creeps.

We’re confident, though, that Hollywood will find a way to make this work, because anything’s preferable to developing an actual original idea.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com