Sorry EFA, You Can Legally Purchase 8 of the 10 Most Pirated Movies This Week

Category: News

Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson at news.com.au writes:

Australians still cannot purchase the movies they most want to watch even though legal online options are growing, according to a project launched this week.

New website caniwatchit.com.au, from Electronic Frontiers Australia, compares the top 10 most pirated movies from BitTorrent to their availability from Australian movie-streaming and download services.

While the most pirated film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was available for rental and purchase in several stores, seven of the top 10 films could not legally be purchased, rented or streamed in Australia.

I’m really surprised the smart people at the EFA have thrown together this website. When you visit the site, the first thing you’ll see is large text claiming that 7 of the 10 “most pirated films are not legally available in Australia”. Really?

Here’s the Top Ten:

1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2. Divergent

3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

4. 22 Jump Street

5. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

6. The Expendables 3

7. Hercules

8. Guardians of the Galaxy

9. The Other Woman

10. Need for Speed

According to the EFA, only Captain America, The Amazing Spider-man 2, and Need For Speed are available for “legal purchase” in Australia. But that’s not exactly true.

Five of those films, 22 Jump Street, Hercules, The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Expendables 3 and Guardians of the Galaxy, are available right now for legal purchase. Just head to your local multiplex and they’ll be happy to sell you a ticket to any of those movies. Of the remaining two movies, both are in limbo between Theatrical and Home DVD/Streaming release.

The EFA’s opening line on CanIWatchIt reads; “We know that Australian theatrical, DVD and VOD releases lag behind the rest of the world by as much as months.” Really?

Here’s the US and AUS release dates for the EFA’s top ten:

MovieUS Theatrical
Release
Australian Theatrical
Release
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier4th April 20143rd April 2014
2. Divergent21st March 201410th April 2014
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 224th April 201417th April 2014
4. 22 Jump Street13th June 20145th June 2014
5. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes11th July 201410th July 2014
6. The Expendables 315th August 201414th August 2014
7. Hercules25th July 201424th July 2014
8. Guardians of the Galaxy1st August 20147th August 2014
9. The Other Woman21st April 201424th April 2014
10. Need for Speed14th March 201413th March 2014

Seven of the ten movies above were released in Australia before the US. The longest Australians had to wait for a film released first in the States was for Divergent, the wait time was twenty days.

The EFA’s site wants to imply that Australians are being unfairly treated by Hollywood, but it’s not the case. You cannot legally stream or download Guardians of the Galaxy anywhere in the world right now, because it’s still in the middle of it’s worldwide theatrical release. The Expendables 3 only hit Australian cinemas three days ago, of course it’s not going to be available on iTunes or Google Play.

I’m happy for the EFA to argue for shorter theatrical release windows, or even for day and date release, as long as they clearly state that is the argument they’re making. I’m less happy when they imply that only Australians are being ‘short changed’ by Hollywood, and wrap up their findings in a clickbait list with little context.

7 comments

  1. It’s like they want to argue that if anything is being pirated a lot, then we should have it made available to us via an online download or streaming service- that’s a really simplistic way of viewing the world. There a lot of people who would prefer to see movies in cinemas and wouldn’t want to encourage the death of that industry.

    They’d be far better off looking at what tv shows are torrented the most, as that’s the far clearer issue about availability for people in their homes. But I think they knew they wouldn’t get much publicity from that because we’ve heard it all before, and even Reckoner has done an excellent analysis of it: http://reckoner.com.au/2014/07/watching-tv-in-australia-the-australian-delay-under-the-microscope/

      1. I am suitably impressed that it’s measured, and yet, i have trouble with the idea that Guardians is an $8.50 ticket anywhere. maybe $18.50. I have a feeling i paid a fraction more than that the last movie i attended, something like $16, or $22.50 for 3D or so.

        So i looked up the averages.

        For the US cinema prices, http://www.boxofficemojo.com/about/adjuster.htm seems to be a bit lower for USD average prices at $8.13 and $8.15 this year so far.

        http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/research/statistics/wcboprices.aspx estimates $13.27 as the AU average, and $27 peak which seems about right, unless you add IMAX screenings, which is madness (… who watches IMAX)

        And, the UK http://www.cinemauk.org.uk/facts-and-figures/uk-cinema-industry-economics/average-uk-ticket-prices-2000-2013/ of £6.53 GBP, which equates to $11.71 AUD / $11 USD.

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