Box Office is missing. No, we're not talking about the gross from the latest Eddie Murphy "film", we're talking about the iPhone App. While NetShare remains in its very own little Schrodinger's App box, some carriers' (AT&T, Rogers, etc.) prohibition against tethering and Nullriver's Installer.app/Cydia roots makes the drama at least somewhat fathomable. What about Box Office?

Box Office is (was?) an App that used either manually entered or CoreLocation derived positional information to show you a list of theaters and movies playing within a user-definable radius (e.g. 10 miles). Users could "favorite" certain theaters to bump them to the top, and quickly click through the RottenTomatoes or MetaCrytic reviews, movie information, etc. In other words, it was a useful piece of software in the otherwise incredibly high noise to signal ratio (i.e. CrApps to quality) the initial App Store land rush has given us.

And now it's gone.

Yup. For the last couple days, clicking on the Box Office link returns an iTunes error saying the app is not available in (your country) store. Posting on the MacRumors forums, developer Metasyntactic, claims not to know why it was pulled either (after the jump):

Apple pulled the app yesterday without giving my any notification that they were doing it, or what their justification was for removing it.

I've tried to contact them about the issue, but it's been a complete dead end. If anyone has a useful contact number for apple, please let me know.

I'm in regular contact with all my data providers, and none of them have had an issue with my app. Indeed, the response was the exact opposite. They like my app and have even asked if i would do custom application work for them in the future. Furthermore, all the data i use is licensed by the owners as 'free for non commercial use'. i.e. precisely what BoxOffice is.

So i'm stuck here not knowing what has happened, or what i can do about it. If any of you have any ideas, please let me know. You can respond here, but i'd actually appreciate a reply at cyrusn@stwing.upenn.edu since i probably won't check back here that often.

While Apple has been slowly improving their communications with MobileMe issues and download counts for developers, and has been getting more and more Apps online, the seemingly random length of the approval process and capricious nature of take downs really needs to get some transparency enhancements, at least for the developers.