Release dates differing between countries

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Release dates differing between countries

Postby ArgonV » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:26 pm UTC

What's up with that?

Let's take Crank: High Voltage as an example. I liked the first movie so I want to see the second movie. It's coming out in Germany tomorrow. It'll be out here on September 10th. September? Really? I have to wait 5 months?
Now Germany is right next door, but I'm not gonna watch that. Germans dub everything, I don't want to hear a German do his best Jason Statham impression.

Another example: Inglorious Basterds will be released two weeks later here than in the surrounding countries. Or the USA for that matter.

Why? What have we Dutch done to deserve this? :P

But seriously, why do they do this? It only tempts me to go and see that movie by... eh... other means.

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Re: Release dates differing between countries

Postby stapleface » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:40 pm UTC

there's a cinema in Koln that shows films in english, sometimes with german subtitles, but it's not showing crank.

this was a useful post.

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Re: Release dates differing between countries

Postby Malice » Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:03 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:What's up with that?

Part of it is the time it takes to prepare subtitles, dubs, to get the film through foreign ratings boards (and possibly recut based on that), to coordinate foreign marketing, and possibly to work around local movie schedules (like not scheduling "Iron Man 2" to open the same weekend as "Korean Bearded Robot Hero") and holidays (and, now that I think about it, perhaps seasons as well--do "summer blockbuster" movies come out in the Australian winter?).

Then there's foreign distribution negotiations, which is an extremely complicated business. Sometimes movies have that locked down before they even shoot (because they're relying on that money); larger films may wait to prove themselves in domestic markets in order to get better deals overseas.

Finally, there's the physical difficulties in striking new prints (costly) or waiting for the old prints to finish up at home (takes a while) and then shipping them to the foreign markets. In fact, I'm betting part of the reason foreign releases are staggered (it's not, US in May, the world in July, it's US May, UK July, Germany August, etc.) is so that they can reuse prints, at least within language barriers. Print costs are fucking tremendous and most movies can't afford to buy one for every theater in the world at the same time. Digital distribution should alleviate this problem somewhat in the next few decades.

All of these problems can be overcome--the largest of the blockbusters will sometimes have a simultaneous world-wide release date (which discourages piracy and allows you to take advantage of a single global marketing campaign), but I assume the vast majority of films don't have the money to take care of all of the issues before their release date.

Besides, IIRC, the general rule of thumb is that US box office = worldwide box office, so it's not as if there's a huge incentive for them to care about dealing with every tiny little country.

tl;dr: because AMERICA! FUCK YEAH!

That never gets old - ST

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Re: Release dates differing between countries

Postby Joeldi » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:37 pm UTC

In Australia we used to always get movies coming out far later than America and even Europe sometimes, but recently that's changing. I (legally) saw both Transformers and Watchmen before their US release. I'm thinking maybe they're doing it for nerd movies - the most likely to be pirated here.
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