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
3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
4. 22 Jump Street
5. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
6. The Expendables 3
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:
|Movie||US Theatrical |
|1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier||4th April 2014||3rd April 2014|
|2. Divergent||21st March 2014||10th April 2014|
|3. The Amazing Spider-Man 2||24th April 2014||17th April 2014|
|4. 22 Jump Street||13th June 2014||5th June 2014|
|5. The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes||11th July 2014||10th July 2014|
|6. The Expendables 3||15th August 2014||14th August 2014|
|7. Hercules||25th July 2014||24th July 2014|
|8. Guardians of the Galaxy||1st August 2014||7th August 2014|
|9. The Other Woman||21st April 2014||24th April 2014|
|10. Need for Speed||14th March 2014||13th 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.