&t skeet on mischa: Piracy Ruins Careers

skeet on mischa

i wouldn't have given you it if i didn't agree

Aug 28, 2007

Piracy Ruins Careers

What a bummer for Rob Zombie. A work print version of his latest film the reimagining of Halloween leaked online. Yet it’s not the version that’ll be in theaters this Friday according to this article from CHUD. It seems as if the leaked version of the film was Zombie’s initial cut of the film before extensive re shoots occurred early last month.

One has to wonder if the leaking of the film so close to its release is going to affect its overall weekend box office totals. Its widely believed that the pirated copy of Hostel Part 2 destroyed the box office for the film as well as place a road block in the career of Eli Roth. Youth driven pictures like Halloween and Superbad tend to have stronger Friday night openings and fall off the rest of the weekend. In the case of Halloween, it’s going to be even more of an uphill battle for the film this Friday. One, it’s opening on a holiday weekend, one where people like to get away or at least spend their last fleeting moments with family and friends at the beach or engaging in some outdoor activity before going back to work, school, etc. People like a good scare, but doesn’t seem more logical to release a scary movie, especially one named after a spooky holiday during the month of October? Then again, this is the Weinstein Company and they decided to release Grindhouse on Easter weekend as opposed to October or even the summer time. Not to mention, that the horror audience have their panties in a bunch over the idea of somebody remaking what is widely considered and I tend to agree, what is the greatest horror film ever made. So, the built in audience is already turned off. So, any curiosity factor that the horror fans have about the film will be satisfied by watching the pirated copy of the film, in fact, they may even seen a better film then the one that’s being released. Rob Zombie’s preferred cut of the film, maybe.

Also, the face of piracy has been redefined. It’s no longer that old lady on Canal Street, but some frustrated film school grad that works in an post production house that’s leaking these things on line. People are taking the film industry down from the inside. We have rushed strike pictures and now, post production people leaking semi finished product on line ruining the film industry. Now one has to wonder if Halloween performs poorly if Zombie will take all of the blame or will it all be chalked up to piracy? Or just both.


At 12:13 PM , Blogger najork said...

I hadn't heard it said that Hostel pt. 2 was "destroyed" by a leaked copy, but it brings up an interesting issue: there are demographics to movies, and there are demographics to the people who watch pirated films. Downloading movies (and even knowing what a torrent is) is a young person's game, and at least anecdotally, the majority of people who do it are men.

So, it would make sense then that films which cater exclusively to young men would be most at risk to losing big to piracy.

On the other hand, I'm always skeptical of claims that a movie was completely wrecked by piracy, because the numbers are basically invented, the failure of the Cuthbert film seems to point at a more general case of tortue fatigue among viewers, and Hostel II was pretty dreadful.

At 12:23 PM , Blogger Douglas Reinhardt said...

Najork: I think that "destroyed" is perhaps too strong of a term for what happened to Hostel Part 2. I think the film could've had a better chance if it was released during October or even in January or February. The first Hostel was released in early January where the kids are still out of school and it's mostly adult and family fare at the multiplex.

Also, I think Roth said on his MySpace blog he felt that piracy greatly hurt the film's box office.

I think that Rob Zombie's Halloween is going to be the real test for the future of horror. Does the audience want a more traditional slasher film with gore and nudity or do they want more torture from the latest Saw picture? Hostel Part 2 and Captivity tanked which were torture pictures, but so did The Hills Have Eyes 2 and Grindhouse which are more traditional horror fare.


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