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RunPee App

Something old but neither discarded nor widely used

By Lana V LynxPublished 26 days ago Updated 20 days ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
Image by ChatGPT 4o

I was going through the stories I wrote way before Vocal and found a series I’d penned on the American movie industry. I covered the economics of making and distributing movies, the ways the movie industry responds to modern challenges such as MeToo movement and the streaming technologies, and other topics, including some movie reviews.

I found a story that I wrote exactly 10 years ago, in late June 2014, about advertising before the movie shows in the theaters. If you are a movie goer, you should know that the first 10-15 min of the scheduled show are devoted to previews of other movies that will come out a week to a year later. But if you come to the movies even earlier you will see another set of consumer product ads, mixed in with movie industry trivia and news, usually packaged into an entertaining 20-30 min program such as AMC’s First Look. In the same piece, I also wrote how fewer and fewer people actually go to the theaters to see movies and how those who do are getting older and older. Here’s an excerpt:

“Today, I saw the very advertisement that, for me, indicates that movie industry now targets older audiences. It was an ad for a new phone app, paired with an ad for an incontinence meditation for women middle-aged and older. The last line of the ad literally went like this: "And if you feel the urge to run quickly just because you’re watching this ad, then you surely need the new app – RunPee!"

Folks, I'm not kidding! I saw it with my own eyes and nearly rolled off my chair laughing.

Do you know what this app does? – It sends a notification to your phone (which, by the way, is strongly and creatively recommended to be silenced during the movie) telling you at what minute of your film there will be a scene that you can skip without missing anything important to the plot. You get a list of 3-4 such "filler" scenes (they exist in every movie, right?) and their duration in seconds – longer scenes for those who run slower, I suppose. Additionally, it provides a summary of the scene, but only after you've returned. To avoid spoilers.

I think it's simply brilliant. Good thing I don't need it yet. But I’m happy it’s available for those who need to run out quickly during a movie. So they won't torture their companions with the question, "What did I miss?", and the companions won't honestly answer loudly in the theater, "Nothing, really!"

The most amazing thing is that this app still exists. It started out in 2008 as a website, inspired by the idea the creator had when he and his wife saw the 2005 King-Kong film (run time of 3 hours and 21 min). On July 4, 2009, it launched as a mobile app, as the origin story here explains.

As of July 2024, approaching its fifteenth anniversary, the app still has a “startup” status, with 1 million downloads and half a million active users. Still a lot of potential for growth among the estimated 8% (~27 million) of the US population describing themselves as frequent movie goers.

Apparently, a sizable portion of RunPee users are now young males who know that “holding it” is not good for their health. So it’s not for oldies only. The app is free, so there’s no risk in using it.

RunPee app logo and icon

Today, RunPee has an extensive database of movies, including international ones, and boasts to add 160 movies a year. There are also reports that some people use the app while streaming movies at home. It’s not clear if they are doing it because they are too lazy to pause the movie or because they want to skip “the ballast” scenes.

Full disclosure: I have never used the app, never downloaded it and only know how it works from my research and the ad I saw years ago. So I’m not endorsing the app with this story, although if RunPee wants to pay me for it, I’d be happy to do so :).

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About the Creator

Lana V Lynx

Avid reader and occasional writer of satire and short fiction. For my own sanity and security, I write under a pen name. My books: Moscow Calling - 2017 and President & Psychiatrist

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Comments (21)

  • Shenalyn Abion13 days ago

    Very nice and interesting 😊

  • Kendall Defoe 21 days ago

    I think I need this... 🚻

  • Bozhan Bozhkov22 days ago

    I wonder big a team is behind this app and how they are able to feed it with data about so much movies.

  • Adam Clost22 days ago

    Unreal. Stunned to know this exists.... so impressed I'm laughing because of it. Thanks for trying to let more of the world know!

  • Rachel Deeming22 days ago

    It never fails to astonish me what people think up!

  • Andrea Corwin 22 days ago

    Lana, I came across this story today and you might want to check for plagiarism and report if you feel it is: https://vocal.media/art/run-pee-an-app-fit-for-the-big-screen

  • Congratulations on your top story.

  • Cyrus24 days ago

    Interesting!

  • beitris62024 days ago

    Making every month extra dollars by doing an easy job Online. Last month i have earned and received $18539 from this home based job just by giving this only mine 2 hrs a day. Easy to do work even a child can get this and start making money Online. Get this today by follow instructions on this website................. http://www.coins25.com/

  • Chloe Gilholy24 days ago

    I know people who would use this app.

  • That app is something I don't want to talk about... I love your article nice one mate👌

  • Caroline Craven24 days ago

    Ha! Fact is stranger than fiction!! What an app!! Great article.

  • Arti Kohli 24 days ago

    Nice Story

  • Babs Iverson24 days ago

    Oh!!! Thank you for info on a cool app!!!❤️💕

  • shanmuga priya24 days ago

    Congratulations 🎉 keep up the fantastic work.

  • Iris Harris24 days ago

    Great, now I have to go run and pee! 🤣🤣🤣 Also, some theaters, it’s now 15-25 minutes of previews. A little more time💖 Great article, congrats!

  • Mackenzie Davis24 days ago

    OMG, this exists?? Ah!

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • I know that such an app exists but I didn't know what was it called. Movies in theaters should give like a 5 or 10 minutes break every 1 hours. That would be more confident I think.

  • Andrea Corwin 26 days ago

    OMG! We used to go to the movies all the time before COVID. Rarely go now. But the movies have gotten LONGER, much longer, so I can definitely see this APP being used for years to come if that long movie trend continues.

  • Hannah Moore26 days ago

    I ALWAYS need to pee at the cinema! This is for me! Or would be if I went more than about once per year.

Lana V LynxWritten by Lana V Lynx

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