Why the "movie" at the end of a movie Web site URL?

(I swear I posted this once already, but the message board seems to have eaten it.)

Why do films’ official Web sites always have “movie” in the URL? This occurs even in situations where it obviously shouldn’t be required. The one that spurred me to post my question is www.whokilledtheelectriccarmovie.com. Adding to the mystery, you don’t even need the “movie”; if you go to www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com it takes you to the same site! So why do all the trailers and posters add the (usually extraneous) “movie” to the address?

I think it to make sure someone else can’t register that address, such as cybersquatters.

This is a total WAG, but my guess is that domain name speculators often glom up the domains for movies in development, but not necessarily variants involving the word “movie.” I know that’s not what happened in this case, since both URLs go to the movie site.

It may be the case that the movie industry is trying to train folks to look to “…movie.com” as a matter of habit. Hollywood is pretty much out of original ideas, and remakes of things that might have been books, TV shows or something else might already have thriving websites. Thus the need to add “movie” to distinguish, say, the Dukes of Hazzard movie site from other fan sites.

Just a WAG, though.

The cybersquatter thing makes sense except that in many, if not most cases, they DO own the non-movie domain name as well (see example above). Plus, if they do own both domains, why not advertise the shorter, easier-to-remember URL? The WAG has some merit but I doubt whokilledtheelectriccar is ever going to be used for anything besides this movie…

I think it’s simpler than the explanations already provided. “Who killed the electric car” is an anomolous movie title - most titles are pretty short and straightforward, often one or two words. As such, they are in common usage, and probably already have web sites. For example, “serenity.com” turns out to be a site for adult diapers, and “unbreakable.com” is a site selling locks. So, studios add “movie” to the name, and wah-la, a unique site name.

OK, fine. But why do it in cases lie “Who Killed the Electric Car”, which is a pretty unique phrase and doesn’t need the added “movie”? Simple - the moviegoing audience has gotted used to the addition of “movie” and expects it to be there. Many things are done to add to the comfort level of intended customers, even if not necessary (see flotation devices in airplanes).


Just imagine if Movie Movie were released today.

So many movies today are based on other things, like old TV shows, it makes sense. I see it as a website naming convention in progress.

It may be that the cybersquatter initially demanded too high a price for the the unadorned domain name, but once the studio has the ~movie domain name, the leveraged value of the squatter’s domain is reduced (i.e. they might not bother buying it off him at all) and they may have been able to persuade him to part with it for less - ending up with both domains.

I wouldn’t doubt that it’s a tracking mechanism. Usually when you see “movie” at the end of the URL, it’s part of a trailer, so when you enter that URL you’re letting the site owners know that you had (probably) seen the trailer to get there. The non-movie URL might be used in other types of advertising, and notice how both domains redirect you to http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/, which is probably a more accurate address as to where the site resides. The “official site” is the content you see, not what you type in to get there.

Of course, Internet-based ads are a lot easier to track because people just click a link, but since “offline” ads require URLs easy enough to remember for the viewers to type into a computer later, rather than making someone have to remember to type in something like http://www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com/?source=movie+trailer for the marketers to get useful data back from your visit.