Take the 2-minute tour ×
Movies & TV Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for movie and tv enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A recent trend that I've noticed (or I'm just crazy and need to delete this question) is to release a major film outside of the U.S. first, even if it's a Hollywood film. Usually a week or so later the film gets released in the U.S.

Why are movies being released this way?

share|improve this question
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In some cases the original delay involved the time required for licensing (music), appropriate copyrights, ratings, and in some cases the redubbing of the film into other languages. The latter of which can not typically begin until the final edit is determined. In some major films (especially action films) the final edit may not be complete until the film initially releases.

As film companies see better returns internationally, they try to shorten this process or build it in for a world-wide release.

In the cases of American film releases outside the US first; there are a number of reasons. One can be to build US expectation; to assess general reaction before domestic release in the event the film needs to be reedited, or in some cases the delays above (such as rating or licensing) may cause a delay.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Some Hollywood movies have to be released in the United Kingdom first, then the rest of Europe, then worldwide, until it reaches to the United States. Well, it's because many Hollywood movie studios are cutting production costs in the US...since it gives PROFIT.

share|improve this answer
1  
I fail to see the correlation of releasing to UK first with cutting production costs. –  TylerShads Jun 11 '12 at 12:27
    
Can you tell us how doing it this way reduces production costs and increases profit? This doesn't really make a lot of sense. –  DForck42 Jun 11 '12 at 13:36
add comment

My understanding is that the US, being a huge market and often at least a third of the film's worldwide revenue, can be used to push up if hype is a factor.

With the Avengers, if they know in advance it's going to be a success - and franchises tend to do well worldwide - especially superhero ones, releasing internationally only intensifies the hype back in the US (and Canada, I should point out, having just moved here from New Zealand, I'm gutted that I have to wait longer than my Kiwi friends who have all seen it). A week later, everyone in the US (and Canada) goes to see it.

It's just a theory, but I suspect the actual marketing plan involved is just a theory anyway.

A youtube blogger suggest that THIS is the reason for it...that by releasing it worldwide, it helps to combat the threat of worldwide piracy that happens when movies are released first in the US. However, one would think that since worldwide sales tend to be 2/3 of big blockbuster sales, the opportunity for piracy increases immediately and those with fast internet connections in the US could just download it, negating that effect.

share|improve this answer
    
could you provide a synopsis of what's in the youtube video? –  DForck42 May 3 '12 at 16:09
    
added and updated –  Mark Mayo May 3 '12 at 19:28
add comment

I have not seen many examples of Hollywood movies shown first in the rest of the world before the USA, but it is certainly the case that simultaneous release around the world is now normal when it used to be rare. If the trend has continued beyond 'simultaneous' to now opening in the rest of the world first, it is probably for the same reason.

There are several factors affecting this, for instance with digital technology, it is becoming easier and quicker to distribute movies. However the main reason I think is preventing piracy cutting into profits.

It used to be that Hollywood movies would be released weeks or even months before release in the rest of the world. I think this partially came down to hitting the biggest market first and building a reputation before going abroad, but it also used to be very hard to pirate a movie. You would have often to film a movie in a theater, and the quality would be normally pretty bad.

Nowadays, with vastly better technology, it is far easier and cheaper for high quality copies of movies to be made and quickly distributed worldwide. Studio's have to hit the worldwide market much faster to prevent pirated copies of the movie diluting their profits, especially around the world.

share|improve this answer
    
deskofbrian.com/2012/04/… is an example of a big movie seen outside the US first, though I'm struggling to connect this with your piracy theory. –  hexparrot May 2 '12 at 18:06
    
@hexparrot - thanks for the example. The argument is that if a movie appears in one territory, particularly the USA weeks before it appears in other territories with perhaps lower enforcement of copyright laws - that (enough) people will resort to watching pirated copies and not wait and pay to see the movie in the theatre. By enough - I mean enough that the studio is bothered about the reduced revenue. I wish I could find a reference, but I have heard this discussed on a movie review radio show. –  iandotkelly May 2 '12 at 19:29
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.