The Shallows was released in the United States on the 29 of June. It’s due to be released in whatever’s left of the United Kingdom in August.
The Purge: Election Year was released in the United States on the 1st of July. Again, it’s due to be released in the United Kingdom in August.
The BFG (despite being written by noted British Author Roald Dahl) is slightly better- the 1st of July and 22nd of July respectively.
I could go on, but I think that this makes my point- Staggering movie release dates is (in this day and age) an exercise in complete and utter futility.
It used to make sense to release films region by region. It takes time to market a film and staggered releasing means that each market could be properly exploited. And in any case, each market was pretty isolated, so if the film did poorly in… say the USA, it could do perfectly respectable business in Europe and neither would ever have to know.
But then the internet hit.
And the world became faster.
In 2016, if a film is of low quality it’s takings can drop in days rather than weeks. In the age of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and others, films have nowhere to hide. And more to the point, staggered releasing is (as far as i’m concerned) actively hurting films.
Those films I mentioned earlier? I could wait a few days, watch them online in HD quality and have my review good to go weeks before the official UK release date. I won’t, but I could. Other film lovers however, possess neither my Jedi like patience or Cineworld Unlimited card.
The end result?
The film gets watched online which results in it making less money in the box office and therefore less likely to spawn a sequel or encourage studios to invest in ‘riskier’ mid to low budget films.
Giving films a global release date ends all of these problems. Everybody gets access to it at the same time, meaning that if the film is of low quality it can make more money before word gets out. Similarly, if its a good film then people wont download it out of impatience.
What do you guys think?