Monday, August 18, 2014

Blame The Pirates - Cal Talks About The Movies

Expendibles 3 flopped at the box office this weekend. Now maybe that is because it's a crappy movie or maybe it has more to do with the fact that anyone with a computer could have downloaded a pristine copy of the film for free online, weeks ago. I did that and wrote about the film. I liked it having not seen the two that came before it. I have no interest in seeing the action stars of my youth struggle to pull a trigger but because it was there and it was free, I watched and liked what I saw.

The studio claims the film was stolen illegally and downloaded to the Internet, thus robbing them of the profits. Some claim, however, that the studio released the movie on it's own but there seems to be little reason for them to do that. Were they hoping that good word of mouth would bring extra butts to the seats? It's a big risk to take, especially with their demographic which is heavily populated by males with computer skills.

How can the studios solve the problem of piracy? I have a solution. On the SATURDAY after a Friday night premiere, anyone with 4.99 can download the movie for a one time viewing. This would be a studio approved print and identical to the version being shown in theatres. It might not deter all the downloaders but enough would pony up the cash for a first look at a new hit.

Many would wait the extra day to avoid a shaky cam version of the film they wanted to see. Experts have predicted that 20% of a movie's possible revenues are lost due to illegal downloads, something that will never stop as long as the technology is available - technology that just improves with time.

Allowing individuals and more importantly families, to have a low cost alternative to bundling up everyone for a trip to the theater, could be a way for studios to recoup these lost revenues. They are making NOTHING now. The studios could even sell packages that allow movie lovers to enjoy both the theater and the home movie watching experience. Make it as easy as Netflix and the viewers will come.

People spend lots of money to create a great viewing environment in their homes. This plan would give them another entertainment option that I believe would be very popular. I know as a kid the first weekend was when I wanted to see a new movie. I didn't want to go back to school on Monday having NOT seen the big film. That happened during the year. In the summer you could be a little more relaxed about when you saw the blockbusters. Hot day plus cool theater was always a winner.

People have been predicting the death of the theater for years now. Since the dawn of the video age it was believed that watching a movie at home would sour people on the experience of seeing a movie with a crown in a theater. Nothing could be further from the truth. Going out to a movie, despite the high cost and all the other downsides, is still a fun way to spend time with your friends. Sharing a good movie with someone is like sharing a good meal. The memory can stay with you all your life.


Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

I blame the poor performance on a lack of Vin Diesel. Seriously, all these out of work action movie stars and you didn't call him? Thats why Guardians of the Galaxy was such a big hit.

Erik Johnson Illustrator said...

Also, think of all the good that entertainment piracy has done for us. We knew that Wolverine Origins was going to be lousy when we saw the rough cut leak and when the manuscript for "Breaking Dawn" was dumped on the net, Stephanie Meyer got so mad she said that there would be no fifth Twilight book.

Kal said...

All good reasons to continue the trend. Maybe this was some whistle blower making a point about pointless movies.