This weekend was massive for blockbuster movies, and it’s time to face facts: piracy isn’t killing Hollywood as much as Hollywood would have us believe.
Big studios might be “fighting the good fight” against piracy, but at the end of the day, it’s a war for publicity. Take a few big movies that opened recently as examples.
Jurassic World is the fourth instalment in the Jurassic franchise, and it just shouldn’t work. It’s full of hammy product placements, dino-sploitation and forced romantic tension set against a backdrop of a world that hasn’t been good since the 1990’s.
But that didn’t stop Jurassic World from roaring its way into the record books with a $US162 million opening weekend. That massive performance makes it the highest-grossing global opening. Ever. It’s so successful that Hollywood funnyman and Raptor wrangler Chris Pratt has signed on for two more films, which will probably do just as well.
Another example: Furious 7. The Furious franchise is more ridiculous now than it ever has been. The characters are still woefully two-dimensional, the action is unbelievable and there have been six of them already. None of that, however, stopped the film from grossing an insane $1 billion in 17 days of being released in cinemas.
One. Billion. Dollars. For a film that’s on its seventh go-round.
Cam-rips of both Jurassic World and Furious 7 are already up on pirate sites and can be downloaded to your machine in minutes, but people are still forking over cash to see these event movies in the cinema.
So it’s time to call Big Cinema out on its bullshit: piracy isn’t killing your business. It’s denting the edges, sure, but killing is a big word.
Hollywood still funds big event movies which call people to cinema seats despite the high price of entry. Piracy is certainly slowing the river of gold that flows through Hollywood, but it’s not stopping the tide completely.
If Big Cinema wants to talk about something constructive for a change, it can use its obnoxiously-large megaphone to talk about what piracy is actually affecting: awesome indie movies.
One of the coolest Australian indie flicks of recent months is Wyrmwood: Rise Of The Dead. It’s about a zombie outbreak in the Aussie outback, which is awesome, and it was made on a shoestring.
The crew of the film actually chose to forgo their pay until the film turned a profit. The problems started when the film spread around BitTorrent like wildfire, meaning that no money actually landed in the hands of the people who made the flick.
Piracy is a problem, but big studios need to give their incessant whinging about it a rest. They aren’t the ones with the most to lose in this equation.