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There seems to be a lot in the press this morning regarding the movie industry and as such I feel obliged to comment on it.
Firstly I read about the Wolverine leak. This is where an early and incomplete copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been leaked onto the internet. The FBI are involved in finding the source of the leak. The movie was unfinished and didnt contain CGI or proper music and some scenes were incomplete.
This led to the issue of piracy, how did this movie get leaked online and how are we finding those who uploaded it. There was also an article on how the piracy campaigns are changing. Instead of you wouldnt steal a car were now going to have a chap come on screen and thank us for paying to watch the film.
This leads on nicely to the third story where last year movie sales were up. Not surprising considering we saw the release of probably the most popular film since Titanic in The Dark Knight. Couple that with Indiana Jones long awaited return to the silver screen and another James Bond adventure. It was a pretty big summer for cinema, so unsurprisingly the sales would go up.
Global box office takings rose 5% to reach an all time high of $28.1bn (£19.5bn), according to the Motion Picture Association of America.
What happens next? Sure 2009 has some big films too, Transformers 2 and Harry Potter just to name two, but I dont think any will bring in the same amount as The Dark Knight which was earning six months after its release. This therefore would mean box office takings next year will be down and industry professionals may return back to blaming piracy. Perhaps even going so far as to say the polite approach of adverts thanking us for viewing didnt work.
The movie industry needs to find a way to tackle piracy full stop. Personally I will pay to see a movie if they get the marketing right and it looks like its going to interest me. I will never download a movie with some shaky camera work. I dont know what the solution is but I certainly think global release dates, especially on DVDs/Blu-Ray should come into effect.
Take a recent example. Marley & Me has only been released in UK cinemas. I want to see this film but I dont think it warrants the £7.50 for a ticket because Im not sure I want to see it that much. I would happily await until it comes around on DVD and rent it. However, it is already released on Blu-Ray in America. Because Im impatient I would be willing to spend the extra money to be able to watch this film in the comfort of my own home on a format that means I can watch again and again at my leisure.
However, the Marley & Me Blu-Ray is region locked, therefore I cant play it on my player. This gives me another option. I could download it. That way Im not paying anything to watch a film Im not 100% on in the first place. If I download it and I like it I will buy it when it is released, that is only fair. But if I dont like it, I havent wasted any money.
All this could be avoided if either region locking Blu-Rays and DVDs is switched off, or if movies had global release dates. But there are a number of factors that mean both of these are impossible. What could be the solution? Online streaming or digital downloads of high definition movies. They do it with Netflix in the States, perhaps a roll out worldwide should be next?