The Flixster movie website and associated apps (for Facebook, MySpace, mobile phones, etc.), are incredibly popular. According to their statistics, more than 20 million people use an embedded app, while mobile phone users number around 10 million. That’s a lot of people, all getting movie times, previews, ratings and more. Thanks to the official new Flixster extension, Google Chrome users can get in on the fun as well.
I tried out Flixster a couple days ago, and was pretty impressed. It’s not the kind of extension I think I’ll find myself using all the time, but for certain uses, it’s excellent. As an example, if I want to browse through a lot of listings or find out where a particular movie is playing near me (and when individual showtimes are), then I’ll just go to the Flixster website. But if I just want to grab some quick info, then the extension is great.
Once installed, a little popcorn bucket icon appears in your Google Chrome toolbar. Click that, and in a couple seconds a pop-up window appears. This window has three tabs, one named Popular Movies, another for Coming Soon, and the third for On DVD. Clicking a tab brings up a list of generally four movie titles. You see the title, the movie’s stars, a small poster image, and its rating on RottenTomatoes.com (although there is no link provided).
There are links for Reviews, Showtimes and Trailer. Clicking either of the first two takes you to the appropriate Flixster page, where you can browse through information about that particular movie. Clicking the Trailer link, on the other hand, presents the trailer right in the Flixster extension pop-up window. It’s a little small, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to view it in full screen or even make it larger, but it’s still a nice option.
You can also perform searches with the Flixster extension. Just type in the name of movie, actor or director, hit enter, and you’re taken to that page on Flixster, or shown a list of potential search matches. This is another feature that could be better. I understand there is a limitation to how much an extension can do within the confines of the little pop-up window, but if the search results would appear without needing to open a new browser tab, that would be nice.
Still, there’s a whole lot of functionality in this little extension. It doesn’t come close to offering nearly the full power of the Flixster website, of course. It only does movies, there are no profile or extensions, and you are limited by what you can actually view within the extension, but for fast movie information, it’s pretty nice. As I said, it’s not something for everyday use or for seasoned Flixster users, but for fast movie lookups, it’s hard to beat.