'Bolt' iPhone Game App Pays Off For Disney

by , Dec 18, 2008, 7:45 AM
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Bolt adver game on iphoneSix weeks since its launch, a free 3-D iPhone "adver-game" promoting Walt Disney Pictures' animated theatrical film "Bolt" has been downloaded more than 700,000 times, according to online marketing agency AvatarLabs.

Starring the film's fat hamster character Rhino, the aptly named "Rhinoball" app invites iPhone owners to navigate obstacles as they help the rodent reach Bolt, the dog who doubles as the movie's title character. Players tilt their phones forward, backwards, left and right to guide Rhino through city streets, as he avoids cars and other obstacles on his way to the finish line.

The game makes use of the iPhone's accelerometer, a feature that allows the phone to respond to motion. When the phone is rotated from portrait to landscape, the accelerometer detects the movement and changes the display accordingly.

The Rhinoball app also includes "Bolt"'s theatrical trailer and TV commercial. The film itself just received two Golden Globe nominations--for best animated feature and best song. No. 4 at the box office last weekend, "Bolt" has made $89 million at the box office in four weeks of release, according to Studio Briefing.

In addition to Apple's iPhone, the Rhinoball app is also available to iPod Touch users.

Rhinoball has ranked as high as No. 11 on AppShopper.com's rankings of the most-downloaded free iPhone apps. On Wednesday, it still ranked in the top 100, at No. 70.

With the number of iPhone applications now topping 10,000 and growing rapidly, other brands have also been launching applications. They include the Virtual Zippo Lighter, at No. 37 on AppShopper.com's list, and the Target Gift Globe, at No. 46. The Virtual Zippo Lighter "opens with a flick of your wrist and lights with a turn of your thumb. The windproof flame sways as you move your iPhone or iPod Touch and reacts when you try to blow it out."

As for the Target Gift Globe, "tell us a little about the person you have in mind, shake the snow globe, and we'll provide great gift idea."

AvatarLabs, based in Hollywood, specializes in digital movie promotion, including Web sites, rich media/ad banners and widgets for other current films like "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Slumdog Millionaire," and "Four Christmases."

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