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25 Jun 2007

How to make sure your movie gets pirated

filed under: journal  :: entertainment  :: interweb  :: modern life

Some Hollywood studios have a better clue about how to release their movies worldwide than others. Take the Lord Of The Rings trilogy for example, which got a same-day (with a stagger of a day or so in some cases) release all over the world. Here in Zürich, we even got to see The Return Of the King the day before it got released in the US, because of the time zone difference.

On the other hand, you have this ridiculous release schedule for Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille, a movie I've been waiting to see for more than a year.

While a handful of countries get a June release, near to the U.S. release date, most of the world gets it much later. France? August 1st. But in Germany it won't be released until October 3rd. People in the UK have to wait until October 5th. I'm fairly sure this has something to do with how fast the officially approved translators can get it done or something, but it's not like there are tons of very capable translators out there.

Of course this kind of staggered release is almost asking for the movie to be widely distributed in pirated form. Let's see now. Russia, Mexico, etc. get a release in June. Sweden finally gets it in their theaters in mid October. How asinine is that? Sweden, the land of cheap, fast internet and PirateBay. Not to mention the fact that most Swedish people speak English perfectly. By the time Ratatouille finally shows up at Swedish movie theaters, any web savvy person has probably downloaded it already. Most normal people would probably much prefer to see a movie on a big screen than in dubious quality on their computer monitors, but not if it involves a 3 months wait from the real release date to when the powers that be decide your country is ready for it.

Here in Switzerland the Romandie (French speaking region) will get it on August 1st, the same as France, while the German speaking area will get it two months later. We'll be making a road trip to the Lausanne or so in August I guess. A two month difference in release times is still so totally stupid though. Boo to Disney.

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