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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"We should start dealing in those black-market beagles."
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May 07 2012

The Avengers fails to finish on top of the charts - for most pirated movie of the week. Perhaps it takes some time for (quality) copies to circulate or maybe people wanted to see it on the big screen.

You got me for one second with your title "The Avengers fails". lol

So that's a good sign right? It means people prefer to watch the movie in theater.
low down, dirty...deceiver.
Its cause the camrips look like crap. I've seen screen caps of the camrips and I don't know how anyone would rather watch that then see the movie in a theather. If it was DVD quality people would definitely be downloading it more.

And they suck.

[ edited by eddy on 2012-05-07 23:51 ]
Maybe it's a side effect of there being far more 3D screenings than 2D. I'm no expert but I imagine if you're going to point a camera at a 3D screening then the recording will look dreadful .
As someone who hates when *quality* entertainment is pirated, this might be my favorite statistic of the weekend :)
There may be something in that, actually. According to troll logic, it's the "bad blockbusters" that "deserve" to be pirated. Maybe this one just doesn't fit into that category.
I'm surprised the article doesn't mention the fact that it was released domestically and internationally at the same time. I haven't seen the numbers, but I suspect that a large portion of piracy is driven by demand for which there is not a legally available alternative.

For example, I'm willing to bet that if you look at the piracy rate for the most recent season of Dr Who, you'd see a pretty big spike when it changed from airing a day later in the US to 8 days later.

The artificial scarcity of regional markets doesn't mesh well with the "worldwide" part of the web.
RayHill, it was released internationally weeks ago.

A majority of people who torrent do it out of necessity, and are abroad. Some of these shows have millions of torrent viewers, and check the torrents out - most of it is international. The entertainment industry has effectively criminalised those people by not providing a real alternative.

Thor, Avengers and Battleship went out internationally first, and oddly enough attracted low piracy rates, and brilliant box office figures abroad and at home.
Possible reasons:
1. People WANT to see it in the theater - it's that good.
2. Too much respect for Joss.
People WANT to pay Joss! I plan to pay him several times. And again when it comes out on BluRay and again when it comes as a boxed set and again when it is just the trilogy Joss directs ( this one, plus the next two).

Look! Up in the sky? It's a bird, it's a plane? No, it's me on a cloud so happy my Whedonesque has been so exonerated!
Remember that The Hollywood Reporter is an industry publication and it is naturally biased that way.

What Gossi said is valid:
Latest update about International Grosses from BoxOffice Mojo, can be found here.

I bring some attention to the following paragraph

Currently, the highest-grossing territories for The Avengers are the United Kingdom ($48.1 million), Mexico ($40.2 million), Australia ($32.2 million), South Korea ($31.3 million) and Brazil ($31 million). The only top tier market left to open is Japan, which will unleash The Avengers in August.

Except for Russia and China that did release it at the same date as the US and Canada, all major markets opened the movie at least a week ahead of the US up to 10 days (Taiwan, Australia are among them if I'm not mistaken). has some more numbers:

Performance to date in key international territories: UK $48.1M, Mexico $40.2M, Australia $32.2M, Korea $31.3M, Brazil $31.0M, France $26.4M, Italy $18.8M, Germany $18.3M, Russia $17.9M, China $17.4M, Spain $14.4M, Taiwan $14.3M, Philippines $11.5M.

There was no magic formula attached to #Avengers, not even due to number of 3D screens against 2D screens, that somehow scared the "evil downloaders" away, there was just less of a necessity.

Did the trades stopped to look at the numbers for simultaneous US and World releases for other buzzed titles like the Harry Potter movies or even the Twilight series of movies. We'll probably see a similar phenomenon for those, but they get shadowed, because all the BO news gets bundled together, and it doesn't seem as relevant.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2012-05-08 01:08 ]
I find this most interesting in that how most of the best pirating has worked would flourish in a situation such as this. Frequently, it is easier to get a better version of a cam (or even a digital copy in some cases) overseas and simply add the audio you record from an American viewing (or whichever language).

Bottom line about piracy is this: most people who would pirate a movie weren't likely to go see it. Since SO MANY people have seen Avengers, there is a lower number of people who would pirate it. The "customer base" for the piracy just isn't there. I expect after a week or so, it should jump up to normal rates as people want to watch it again, but don't want to go out to the theater and pay high ticket prices again and again. Luckily, my theater has six dollar showings on Tuesdays, so I will probably be in there a couple times a month.
I would never pirate a Joss movie. I don't go to theaters for many movies, but I will save up money for months in anticipation of a Joss movie, so I can see it several times, and also treat my kids (I have 5, all young adults) to the movie.

Oh... I also would never pirate ANY movies - not just Joss's!
I'm in the UK so I'll happily download television shows, simply because the various satellite channels we have over here force you to wait unreasonably long amounts of time to see new episodes. In some cases you're talking the better part of a year. I like to see my shows as quickly as possible after they have aired in the US so that I can avoid spoilers. The only other option would be to permanently avoid pretty much every site that I visit on the internet so that I don't accidentally read anything I didn't want to see. In this day and age, that would be almost impossible. I do get the DVD boxsets when they become available as well though, so no one is really losing out.

Except Sky and Rupert Murdoch, but I'm strangely okay with that...

I don't download new movies though. No reason to, for the most part. Plus why would you not want to watch them on the big screen while you have the chance?
I normally pirate movies. Because not many place here that sell original DVD even if there's one usually it's very expensive. It's easier to find pirated DVD here. I also can't always go to theater because of money and time. But for Joss, i already plan to watch it multiple times and even buy the original DVD.
I wouldn't want to damage a good film by pirating it. Especially not, if it's Joss' film. I want to pay his efforts.
I pretty much always download TV, as there's no way to watch it on the UK usually. Studios put things on iTunes, Hulu etc, but region lock it to the US. I've resorted to buying the creatives beers and such. (Not a joke). Sooner or later the industry will catch up to the world wide web in www.
To be fair a lot of US shows do make it to the UK. And the most popular ones get shown within a day or two of being broadcast in the US.
Another possibility for the low piracy rate:
It's too distractingly GOOD for people to film it and watch it at the same time! :D
I support gossi in his quest! Make TV shows available immediately worldwide, or there will be illegal downloading. I would gladly pay for many shows to see them directly, but there is no option to do that in Sweden. So for shows where I don't want to be spoiled I download, and then buy the DVDs.
Services like Steam and Netflix have shown if you give people a good service piracy drops. You'll never beat piracy but you can reduce it to a point it isn't damaging.

Take music for years the big companies resisted change to their business model but now you have Spotify, Itunes etc and for the first time since 2004 the music industry profits grew. Embrace the customer and give them the service they want and you'll make a profit, try to force your customers to do things they don't want to and they will tell you where to go. The internet has given the power back to the customer and big industry hates that.

Simon is right to a certain degree US shows have gotten better with the timescale, for instance I had to wait six months to watch Sopranos, Lost eventually went from months to a day's delay but it's still only for the one or two most popular shows the majority are still weeks or even months delayed. But it is starting to move in the right direction.

Also I think TV piracy doesn't hurt as much as film piracy. I pay a licence fee and I have the top Virgin media package so I pay for every legal way to view my shows but I refuse to wait weeks or months for shows I like especially in a modern small internet connected world. Most UK people would not have been able to discuss Buffy on here for fear of spoilers because we had to wait to watch, you miss out on all the international communities.

The first network to truly go worldwide and release all the shows to everyone will become a juggernaut they just need to realise the potential.

As for film they need to realise some films aren't cinema films. So many people now have big HD TV's with the ability to stream and get a very good film experience without the need for a cinema so give htem the ability to stream a new film at a reasonable price rather than have to go to the cinema and you'll see a jump in profits, especially for smaller films. I think films like the Avengers will always make money because they are cinema friendly films, you want the 3D, you want the huge IMAX screen and the booming audio. I don't need that for a small independent film. Going by my local listing for today I have

The Descendants
The Lucky One
Salmon fishing in the Yemen.
American Reunion

Now I would only really watch Avengers out of them for the cinema price of 13(imax 3d). I would however take a risk on Safe and American Reunion if I could stream them to my 42" HDTV for say 5 per viewing and I would guess others would too for all those smaller name films.
Re: TV... If you're an international viewer, instead of pirating why not use Hotspot Shield and watch from Hulu or the network sites? That appeases advertisers and the numbers get registered by the networks. The only people who miss out are international broadcasters who might not be keeping up with US air dates...
Simon, I can't get Sky or cable as I'm in a flat (and Virgin doesn't cover this area). Jackal - Hotspot Shield is slooooow.
Jackal - I use another program called Ultrasurf for alot of shows but it like Hotspot is very hit and miss and the speed and quality can be terrible at times(this with a 50mb connection). Also not tried Hulu but I know Netflix requires an American based card to pay for it's US service.
The majority of the shows I enjoy are weeks, if not months behind their US airdates. The likes of Dexter and True Blood... well, don't get me started...

I'd happily pay for an online same-day legal option for all the shows I watch. I download because it's the only option available to me at the moment. Hotspot Shield is, as faneater said, REALLY hit and miss and has always slowed my computer down when I've tried using it. Just not practical.

I honestly can't understand how any of the UK channels think waiting longer than a day or two to air new episodes of their shows is a good idea, especially genre shows where the potential audience is largely well aware of other means of watching them. They must realise by now that people aren't going to wait anymore. Certainly not months. Channel 5 has only just recently started showing Once Upon A Time and its first season is nearly over. How many viewers will they have lost to downloading? I've said before that the technology of how we choose to be entertained is moving at a faster pace than the US networks ratings system is able to understand or cope with, and that goes double for the UK channels.
I'm guessing it's cause cams are awful? I saw one of cabin was available as well and it was just terrible. I can't bear to watch them,I'd rather wait.
mind you, the second a avengers HQ copy is available,I will download. but I will also buy a copy when it comes out.
I'm still waiting for cabin in the woods.

I'm all for making tv available immediately. HBO is doing that with game of thrones and is working wonders.
Last season it was a week later which is plenty of time to get spoiled. now I am actually following something on tv, I havent done that in years.
mind you,I still dl cause I find it necessary to watch every ep like 3 or 4 times a week. but I also got the s1 blu-ray and I'll get the s2. but they're at dad's and I can't have one for dad's place and one for mum's.

@fivehorizons, it's ridiculous how much they make us wait!
here in latin america, axn is now airing promos saying that castle s4 is "coming soon" while I'm downloading the s4 finale.

for people like my mum who go online to check their mail and play mahjong that's ok, she can wait, but for people like me who spend time in fandom it is impossible to wait, spoilers are everywhere. just this last couple weeks I've had to block and blacklist people and keywords to avoid spoilers cause I actually want to be surprised.

that's why I need to watch new eps right now.
Doesn't mean I don't watch Castle when it's on in cable. of course I do, it's fun. but I can't be waiting months, that's barbaric.

[ edited by okelay on 2012-05-08 15:11 ]
Cabin in the Woods won't be released here until August, and I have sworn not to watch it til it's released. *pats self on the shoulder* good girl good girl.

But seriously, there are so many great TV shows out there that either never make it to Germany, or make it here late, plus the dubbing is usually awful.... so what to do :S

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