The iTunes trailer for John Dies at the End proclaims that it will be available online, "everywhere" from december 2012 before its cinema release in January 2013.
Of course by "everywhere" they mean the USA and nowhere else. Those of us in undeveloped parts of the word like Europe, don't yet know when we will get access to it (well, legally anyway). This seems to be standard practice for recent movies with an online release (another recent example would be God Bless America where Europeans waited a couple of months after Americans to get it online).
My general question is why does this still happen?
I can understand the tangled rights issues of movies where the contracts were written before electronic distribution was invented, but these are modern movies perhaps even ones where early online distribution was part of the plan. Why not plan international release on the same date worldwide? Why piss off the entire international audience (who watch the trailers on iTunes or some other international internet site) and then make them frustrated when they can't get the movie?
I notice that some content originators of TV and Movies are now planning to break the regional distribution model. This article from The Register reports:
Netflix original productions will, differently, be global from the start, effectively demolishing all the concepts of regions and release windows that the industry has been clinging on to.
This reinforces my claim that international distribution doesn't have to be a mess, so why is it still not often done the Netflix way?