Blockbuster idea: Expanding markets by being multi-lingual

olenkapolakHere’s an intriguing idea for Hollywood’s movie moguls: What if every one of their theatrical releases could be experienced not just in English, but a dozen or more other languages?

That’s the idea being pitched by a Cambridge, Mass. startup called myLINGO, still in stealth mode. In addition to buying a ticket, moviegoers would be able to download the soundtrack in the language of their choice, using myLINGO’s mobile app on their phone. The company is currently discussing a price tag of about 99 cents per movie. And the co-founder Olenka Polak’s hope (which may prove unrealistic) is that studios will supply them with the alternate language tracks for free, as a way of expanding the appeal of their releases and selling more tickets. “We think that today, there are a lot of immigrants who are not in seats,” Polak says.

Polak says that the dialogue of most movies are recorded in French, Italian, German and Spanish, in addition to English, but for some blockbusters, as many as 25 different languages are available. (The alternate audio tracks are prepared for both theatrical runs in other countries and the eventual DVD release.)

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