Sony Won't Support Its Own Movie For An Oscar Over Misplaced Piracy Fears

from the that-evil-internet-again dept

One of Jack Valenti's final battles while still in charge of the MPAA was his silly, misguided war on DVD screeners. Screeners are copies of the movie (on DVD, obviously) that are sent out to people to view (to "screen") for awards shows and the like. Valenti freaked out that since these screeners went out before the official DVDs were out, they would lead to people uploading them online, creating a piracy problem. Of course, that assumed two incorrect things: that those movies weren't already online and that adding one more copy would create any sort of "problem." Valenti lost his initial battle to forbid studios from sending out DVD screeners, but what came next were a series of convoluted attempts to stop "piracy" via the screeners -- including sending DVDs that could only play in special players. Two years ago, studios finally realized how ridiculous and cumbersome this process was, so it dropped the special DVD player requirement, and instead went with a watermarking option. But that's crazy expensive. Each DVD screener now needs to be individually watermarked and tracked.

Given that, it seems that some studios are simply deciding not to support certain movies for the Academy Awards. johnjac points us to the news that folks involved with the movie Moon are pissed off that Sony won't send out DVD screeners for the movie, as they were hoping that actor Sam Rockwell might get an Oscar nod for his part in the movie. Sony claims that it's just too expensive to do the watermarking.

It's really no surprise that this comes from Sony Pictures, whose CEO, Michael Lynton, is on record as saying that nothing good has come from the internet, and then when questioned on that statement, stands by it. So I guess that Lynton doesn't use the internet, or he would know, as pointed out in the Slashfilm link above, that perfectly good copies of the movie -- sans watermark -- are already widely available for download. In other words, there's no reason whatsoever to waste money watermarking the DVDs. It won't make a difference. Yet, because of Lynton and his crew's misguided fears, Sony Pictures won't support this particular movie.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    I've never heard of that movie; that makes it perfect for an Oscar nomination.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    pre-release DVDs for oscar consideration are a very common source for excellent quality digital versions of movies that are still in theaters. Sony is on the right track here, it is very sad that even people inside the industry are so careless or thoughtless as to allow their private copies to move rapidly to the piracy sites.

    If every pre-release copy was watermarked, I suspect the only good copies you would see online would also be watermarked. After all, those copies aren't coming off of camcorders.

    This is another one of those "the shoplifters are winning, let's just give up" stories, which is a total defeatist attitude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Let me get this straight. The movie studios are afraid to give out screener DVDs because it might lead to piracy which might lead to lost sales. So they come up with a highly expensive and utterly futile system, which because it is futile, is pointless. But because they came up with the system, they have to use it. But only they can't use it, because it's too expensive.

    My brain hurts!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    1) The DVD of this movie is already out (just not in the US). I know you don't read the articles, so I can see how you missed that.

    2) The only logical conclusion of preventing piracy by not sending out copies of your movie is to never release your movie in any format ever.

    3) The industry should be defeatist; after all, they're defeated at every poor flailing attempt to stop piracy. I wonder why.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Re:

    I used to think you were ignorant and clueless. Now I'm guessing you're just a brilliant troll. So I bow down to you, Anti-Mike, king (or queen) of the trolls!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    ObjectiveR (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    And we all know that a potential Oscar nomination could in no way have helped any sales what so ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    My roommate is a SAG card-carrying member and gets screeners all the time. Often, across the bottom of the video is big letters that read "SCREENER COPY" or "PROPERTY OF XYZ" or "DO NOT COPY".

    I guess I don't understand the problem. Often I feel inclined to buy them when they come to DVD, even "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" which had no idiotic text on it to distract me from the storyline.

    If it's such a problem, maybe Sony should just use DVD Discs that self-destruct (with oxygen) in 24 hours. If Sony thinks they need to get paid every time someone watches more than 5 minutes of a movie, well, I think they're rather shallow in their business methods and will be more cognizant to ensure I pass on all their movies.

    I'll have no part of that, and my roommate can watch them alone. They probably suck anyway.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/01/self_destructing_dvd/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:15pm

    Re:

    Hello Igtor! Have you been a good little troll while I was away? Did you do any economics homework?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    I downloaded Moon because of you. Good job!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Re:

    horse stable door bolted after locking

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Tyanna, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:35pm

    In the end I see this hurting Sony more.

    From my understanding, an actor with an Oscar and/or Oscar nomination under their belt make more money per picture they are in. If actors know that Sony won't be giving out screeners to get that Oscar nod, then there is a chance they might not choose to do a film with Sony.

    Correct me if I'm wrong....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:37pm

    Re:

    I actually meant "Little Miss Sunshine" and not "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" Not that it matters to this crowd.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re:

    1) I didn't specifically talk about this movie, notice I said "pre-release"

    2) the logical conclusion on pre-release movies is only to release them with massive watermarks or not at all

    3) "the shoplifters are winning, let's just give up"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    do you actually comprehend what you post? The movie has ALREADY been posted online. ALREADY. Why on earth should they be worried about a copy of a film being put online when it is ALREADY there?
    Never mind. Obviously common sense and actual intellect are foreign concepts to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't have to do homework. You know, you pass the class, you don't have to keep studying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    'Moon' deserves as much promotion as it can get

    I really enjoyed the film and Sam Rockwell was amazing. It's a genuine shame that all this bed-wetting hand-wringing terror about 'piracy' is going to inhibit the film's exposure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And yet you're unable to answer one query...
    ; P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    You forgot the second part of the equation ...

    Movie studios, fearing downloads and lost sales, don't distribute a screener of a movie already p2p-available to industry insiders, which in turn limits the potential reputation & marketing of the movie that could have increased its sales. Oscar-nominated movies always receive a sales boost, and by not putting the movie up for consideration they're costing themselves more.

    So, for fear of losing sales they cost themselves sales. It's particularly sad when the lost sales to file sharing are unsubstantiated, but decades worth of previous market patterns demonstrate how an Oscar nod can increase a movie's income.

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Forge, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Actually, I downloaded a very pretty 1080p copy of Moon weeks ago, maybe a month or more. I'm waiting for the Bluray release.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    The easy solution.

    ...folks involved with the movie Moon are pissed off that Sony won't send out DVD screeners for the movie, as they were hoping that actor Sam Rockwell might get an Oscar nod for his part in the movie.
    The folks should hop onto a torrent site and create their own screener and send it given it's probably already out there.

    Without tracking, they could get away with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    I think that's a perfectly logical possible scenario. If the movie studio isn't going to support your career as an actor, why support that studio with your talent. Particularly when they aren't going to let the industry recognize your talent with its back-patting awards shows.

    Though, the biggest flaw is not that actors with nominations make more money, but that actors that are good enough to get nominations have enough talent to command higher salaries. The nominations are just an indicator of industry-perceived talent, not a prerequisite for salary grades. Just like a college diploma doesn't mean you'll earn more in the real world, just that people who complete college tend to have other characteristics that allow them to excel in jobs that pay more ... the diploma doesn't make you earn more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Erm..

    "I don't have to do homework. You know, you pass the class, you don't have to keep studying."

    Not sure why you bring this up, since you clearly have NOT passed. You are still mired in the "it must be DRM'D or it CAN NOT BE RELEASED! PIRACY WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING!" mindset that you cant see past the end of your dogmatic nose.

    Hint: ALL movies (or at least, for this article and example, oscar contenders) are available on file sharing networks LONG BEFORE THEY ARE ON DVD. If you dont understand this, then you have nothing relevant to add to the discussion.

    Avatar has at LEAST 3 versions available online. This is WIDELY "pirated." The movie is the 2nd biggest box office champ OF ALL TIME. If you cant see that "piracy" isnt the issue, you are a pathetic worm of a shill and you just need to crawl back in your little hole and let the grown-ups discuss the issues of the day without your constant "ITS THE END OF ALL! DRM IS THE ANSWER! EVERYTHING SHOULD BE PAID-USE IN EVERY INSTANCE!" incoherent, specious, doomsaying blathering getting in the way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Hulser (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    If it's such a problem, maybe Sony should just use DVD Discs that self-destruct (with oxygen) in 24 hours.

    Because...you can't rip a disc in the first 24 hours that you have a screener?


    I actually meant "Little Miss Sunshine" and not "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" Not that it matters to this crowd.

    Damn, dude. Why the hate? You don't think that people who are interested in the legal aspects of technology and media would be interested in movies too?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    bshock, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    amusing

    "Nothing good has ever come from the Internet?"

    If I hadn't noticed the trailer for "Moon" online, I never would have gone to see this film.

    Then again, considering what a senseless story it was, maybe missing it wouldn't have been so bad.

    Good performance by Sam Rockwell, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Robert Ring (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    The really funny part about all of this is that the Moon Blu-ray already is legally watchable in the States. You just have to order it from the UK -- the disc is region-free.

    This fiasco is really a shame.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Shanoboy (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    It's a pretty good movie and I'm pretty sure I saw a near DVD quality rip of it on a bittorrent tracker a few weeks ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    It's really no surprise that this comes from Sony Pictures, whose CEO, Michael Lynton, is on record as saying that nothing good has come from the internet, and then when questioned on that statement, stands by it.

    So then... why would Sony create an internet gaming company known as 'Sony Online Entertainment, LLC'?

    lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:01pm

    Re:

    This is absolutely NOTHING like "The shoplifters are winning, yadda yadda..." If someone shoplifts a TV, there's only that one TV missing. People can't just "take a copy" of the TV like they can a leaked movie/game/album/etc. Your logic is about as flawed as can be.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    How are shoplifters like copyright infringers?

    "The copyright infringers are winning, let's give up."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Josh (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    My friend got a pirated screener copy of Juno and I thought it was hilarious because it still had the anti-piracy warning attached. Also the movie was fairly entertaining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    bob, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Sony

    After all the anti consumer crap that Sony has pulled I am on a personal boycott of any Sony product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Re:

    That's what shill/trolls do, they make specious arguments because stealing has a moral heft to it that isn't quite there with copyright infringement.

    People who steal and shoplift are bad but it does happen. People who infringe copyright are bad but it does happen.

    Just the other day I watched as someone made a copy of a film that came out in 1924. That's wrong. That's copyright infringement and that person should be punished.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You might not want to use shoplifting as an example, since the majority of studies show that the majority of shoplifting is done by employees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    ---"One of Jack Valenti's final battles while still in charge of the MPAA was his silly, misguided war on DVD screeners. Screeners are copies of the movie (on DVD, obviously) that are sent out to people to view (to "screen") for awards shows and the like. Valenti freaked out that since these screeners went out before the official DVDs were out, they would lead to people uploading them online, creating a piracy problem. Of course, that assumed two incorrect things: that those movies weren't already online and that adding one more copy would create any sort of "problem."---

    There are a lot of movies whose first DVD quality copy to appear online is a rip of an Oscar screener copy. Movie down loaders lover Oscar season because before that often the only copy available of some popular movies are telesyncs or R5 rips.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    Rob (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    I am just waiting for Hollywood, Gov't, Music Execs, all the old out of place Execs to retire or die, then maybe some of the younger hopefully more forward thinking humans will take over and we might see some progress.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Jimr (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    The actual movie is not really important. To me the story is Sony is so fearful of piracy that they are willing to take a potential finical loss in a pitifully vain attempt to stop it.

    First point is that something good has come from the internet - a torrent of the movie.

    Second point is that something good has come from the internet - the demonstration that the absolute fear of technology can have on the non-tech savvy. This clear shows Michael Lynton should not be CEO as he deliberate lost revenue for SONY out of his own personnel fear of technology.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:27pm

    Good Movie

    Moon was an awesome movie

    "Sony claims that it's just too expensive to do the watermarking."

    Then don't do it, the movie is already online.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You might not want to use shoplifting as an example, since the majority of studies show that the majority of shoplifting is done by employees."

    I've always wanted to do this:

    THEM STEALERS ARE DESTROYING OUR HUMAN RESOURCES INDUSTRY!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    Dimwit!

    Yo, Hollywood dimwits! Ya wanna stop piracy? Stop making movies. Otherwise, learn to live with it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Some details.

    This movie had a $5 million budget and got back $7.2 million in revenues. Limited release in mid-June 2009. DVD to be released next week (01/12/2010).

    How much revenues would they expect to get from DVD sales/rentals?

    As an aside, I just read Robert Ebert commenting how Netflix's instant streaming can help one movie in the "word of mouth" and potentially the oscar voting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    David (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Sony

    Have the agree with you there, bob. I remember that years ago, Sony used to be my go-to company for technology, worth paying a premium for. Their recent and current direction in proprietary formats and anti-consumer practices has turned my off. Now I'll walk right by a Sony product.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Right.

    Do you have any perspective regarding the actual costs of adding a watermark to a video? It's quite simple, actually. On the contract market, the total cost would be around $350 for the film.

    I come to this conclusion that the film is 120 minutes in length. 30 minutes setup time, and then 2 hours x 100 an hour for a post-production editor. During this time, the editor fixes themselves a cup-o-noodles from the vending machine and occasionally watch the video editing overlay every so often. I'm being generous, of course.

    If it's not contract, the costs hover around $20-$25 an hour for the editor, and I'm sure Sony has in-house staff that could cover that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    interval, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re:

    Plus the take from theatrical releases keeps getting bigger and bigger each year, NOT counting DVD/Bluerag sales. I guess when it comes to film entertainment we have a HUGE inflation problem because the producers aren't making any money because of the rampant piracy problem...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    J.O., Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Sony is the first pirate

    Actually, Sony last week slipped the movie "Armored" to their Playstation Store for free while the movie was still in theaters. Talk about preaching morals in underwear. (It is believed that it was a mistake on their part, or perhaps a promotional experiment?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    interval, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Some details.

    > "As an aside, I just read Robert Ebert..."

    Do you mean 'Roger Ebert'? Or a reviewer I've never heard of?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    Give it up. By then the young people will be old.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    cc, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    Because the online ent. division is not part of Sony Pictures, and the CEO of Sony Pictures doesn't know what this "internets" thing is all about.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Some details.

    You're right, my bad...and I was just thinking how the guy can refer to "X channel" instead of the "Z channel"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    Because it isn't good?

    Or, because Sony Online Entertainment, LLC didn't come FROM the Internet. And considering nothing comes FROM the Internet, but merely passes through it, his statement isn't technically wrong. Nothing good has come FROM the Internet, of course, then again, nothing bad has either ... the Internet doesn't produce anything in and of itself. Just being a semantic bastard now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    CommonSense (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Somethings gotta give...

    The world is shifting, undeniably. People watch less and less commercials, which includes TV previews to movies and such. I record everything I watch, just to avoid the commercials, and sometimes will even pause live TV to go do something else and come back to watch the program I was interested in, again, just so that I can FF through commercials.

    With that shift, I no longer (or at least at this point much much less frequently) become interested in a movie because of a TV commercial I saw, or even an ad online (Adblock Plus :-)) but from the buzz about the internet that I hear. I wait for reviews so I can hear what other people think. I ask friends who've watched it illegally online if they think it's worth the theater prices, or if I should wait for the DVD. EVERY SINGLE time that my friends see a movie and think it's good enough to pay theater prices for, they go with me to the theater to see the movie AGAIN!!! With the quality of movies being made today, and let's face it there's a lot of crap out there no matter who you are (though one man's crap may be another man's treasure, I get that...) and with the prices of theater admission these days, it's unfeasible to expect people to just up and go see a movie that could be such crap...

    What is the breaking point where the industry finally hears what the market is telling them, and how can I speed up the process?? Corporations NEED to be brought back down to Earth where the rest of us are living...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    Personally, I view the anti-piracy watermarks to be a bonus. It's like getting a rare version of the movie that most people will never see ... like some inside club of elitists getting the goods before anyone else. Sometimes I'd still keep the watermarked versions for kitsch value after buying the legit version.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:27pm

    Movie its already online in 1080p High Definition and DTS sound

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

    In other news, Sony Pictures announced today that they will refuse to make any more movies until the government does something about this "piracy thing".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    The only logical conclusion of preventing piracy by not sending out copies of your movie is to never release your movie in any format ever.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:35pm

    Moon 2009 1080p Blu-ray AVC DTS-HD MA 5.1
    Added 2009-11-18

    Why would anyone in their right mind be afraid of someone pirating a screener to a movie for which the full and unaltered 29.76GB Blu-Ray has been out since November 18th?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    $350 per copy if you individually water mark them. Sending out 1000 individually watermarked copies would be a little more pricey, no? heck, Nina Paley could make another movie for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, numbers I heard over the weekend suggested that while there are twice as many films released, ticket sales for the year are up only 4%. On average, that means that ticket sales per released movie is down 48%.

    Hmmm.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Actually, numbers I heard over the weekend suggested that while there are twice as many films released, ticket sales for the year are up only 4%. On average, that means that ticket sales per released movie is down 48%."

    Okay, assuming those numbers are in any way accurate, it says that the growth of money spent on movie tickets is slowing, though still growing, while the number of releases in theatres is growing far more quickly.

    Meaning the market is simply saturated. Profits will fall or less movies need to be made for theatrical release. Nowhere in those numbers is there an indication of the effect of piracy, good or bad....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love it when a meme comes together!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Re:

    Maybe they really don't want Sam Rockwell to receive the Oscar nomination?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    dorp, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Actually, numbers I heard over the weekend suggested that while there are twice as many films released, ticket sales for the year are up only 4%. On average, that means that ticket sales per released movie is down 48%.

    As usual, you made those numbers up or pulled out of your ass. Please show your source for "twice as many films released." Meanwhile, here is a link showing that there were more movies released in 2008 than 2009.


    http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So...what you're saying is that when the supply of movies increases faster than the demand for movies, the total earnings of each movie goes down?

    Brilliant. You should teach economics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Knowing, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    You're wrong.



    Why would any actor not rich turn down an acting job?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 4:13pm

    Re:

    So, are you just making stuff up, or what? Do you actually know people who check tracker sites periodically just to see if there's a good copy of, say, "Julie and Julia" up yet? Are you arguing for or against DVD screeners?

    If I download a dvd rip to replace my crappy cam job copy, am I double damned, or just extra damned?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 4:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, crap! Not only are movies earning less, there are fewer movies too! It must be a disastrous and record-breaking year for the studios!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re:

    They wanted an extra circle of Hell but realized that in order to do so they would have had to copy one of the other circles and well . . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    RD, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    more BS from TAM

    "$350 per copy if you individually water mark them. Sending out 1000 individually watermarked copies would be a little more pricey, no? heck, Nina Paley could make another movie for that."

    Thats what they CLAIM it costs. Does anyone REALLY think it costs $350 to make a custom DVD? Please...they arent doing full MASTERING on EACH copy for shits sake. All they are doing is running the main master through a filter and burning it out. With the facilities they have, it shouldnt cost anywhere NEAR that much. I could do the same job for $3 each. I've know these processes. The only way it costs that much is because they can use that excuse as a smoke-screen to not make them. Its a lie on its face.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Maybe they want to promote Armored for the Oscars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Here are some simple numbers:

    2004 Total Movies Released: 567 Total Combined Gross: $9,327,315,935
    2005 Total Movies Released: 594 Total Combined Gross: $8,825,324,278
    2006 Total Movies Released: 808 Total Combined Gross: $9,225,689,414
    2007 Total Movies Released: 1022 Total Combined Gross: $9,665,661,126
    2008 Total Movies Released: 1037 Total Combined Gross: $9,705,677,862
    2009 Total Movies Released: 1177 Total Combined Gross: $7,596,626,766

    The 2009 number was only up until september. The actual number of releases should, in theory, have followed along to hit somewhere around 1400-1600 movies.

    that would be 50% more movies than last year, and almost 3 times as many releases as 2004, with only a 25% increase in income.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091027/1255556697.shtml

    http://torrentfreak.com/son y-ceo-pleads-poverty-but-the-movie-industry-is-loaded-091027/

    So what you are saying it that Torrent Freak is wrong, and Mike was working from incorrect numbers?

    Anyway, if you follow along the numbers, you can see that the 567 movies in 2004 made much more per movie than the current releases have done. Oddly, in 2004, movie file sharing was difficult to do (most people didn't have enough bandwidth to really do it in a timely manner). It's a big change, and I won't even get into discussing the effects of inflation and general costs on making movies.

    Bottom line, there were more movies, they made not that much more money, which means less income per movie.

    Carry on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 7:47pm

    Re: Erm..

    Sorry RD, but you can try stuffing words in my mouth, but it would help. You really should take your meds, you have been doing so good with them recently.

    You might want to try better tin foil too, this brand seems to be leaking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Laurel L. Russwurm (profile), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 9:58pm

    In 1977 I was a kid yet I managed to see Star Wars in the theatre 13 times. Twentieth Century Fox issued a special anniversary movie poster to the theatres that made it to the anniversary.

    Today in Ontario, the hit movies are lucky to play for a couple of weeks.

    From where I sit when I've wanted to go the movies lately, the ones we wanted to see were usuallt gone after a week or two, sometimes before I even knew it was playing.

    Granted, I live in Canada where we are down to a single 1st run movie theatre chain, but still, it's as though they don't want is to go to the movies. All movies are released wide and only the mega hits get theatre play for more than a week. A large number of Hollywood movies don't play here at all.

    First Problem: The window to see movies in the theatre is very small.

    @The Anti-Mike: During the time you are talking about, 2003 would have been Matchstick Men, Return of the King, Bruce Almighty, a Harry Potter or two before they became unwatchable, the second and third Pirates of the Caribean movies which were both fairly bad... Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit...The Legend of Zorro... Evan ALmighty

    The last movie I saw in the theatre was The Spirit in 2009 and that was a huge disappointment. The whole family went since my Dad had been waiting for over 50 years... and it was terrible.

    Second Problem: Many of the Movies are not very good.

    In the time you're talking about I've probably seen more movies in the rep theatres around the time the DVD is released. But mostly I buy previously viewed DVDs, or cheap ones from the bargin bins in the supermarket.

    Comparing years only goes so far if the content is pathetic.

    I very much doubt there is any validity to the notion that piracy is affecting sales here as much media company practices.

    The three I REALLY wanted to see theatrically and couldn't were Bon Cop, Bad Cop, The Rocket and Passchendaele. Interesting. Those were three extremely good Canadian movies. Which means that the Canadian film industry is doing very well indeed. Could this mean piracy is good for movies?

    Third Problem: Advertising?

    I don't watch broadcast TV. We don't have cable. I haven't willingly listened to the radio in twenty years. We listen to CDs, pod casts and watch DVD's. And I don't buy the paper. Basically, I only find out about movies by word of mouth, internet, or driving past the marquee.

    @Anonymous Coward: Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind was excellent. I buy most of my movies previously viewed from the local video store, or the cheap bin at the supermarket.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 5th, 2010 @ 10:41pm

    Watermarking is expensive?

    Wow! the IT guys at Sony must be getting a lot of money LoL

    Making watermarks on sounds is a bit more difficult then doing it on images still I don't see a problem with cost or even speed.

    Anybody want to watermark their work?
    Do a very faint yellow mask and have Gimp(or photoshop) do a merging of that unique pattern like ink printers do in paper.

    Want to see hidden images on sounds?
    Sonic Visualiser

    Example of a hidden image on sound.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windowlicker
    Want to create some sounds from images?
    http://devrand.org/show_item.html?item=64&page=Project

    Is not like Sony would have to make millions of those things just 30 thousand or so and keep a database and they do have to watermark all digital copies that are already going to theaters so I don't think that excuse is one that holds any water.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 12:01am

    Image watermarking.

    Hmmm...I just remembered that VLC can merge logos meaning that you only need to have one image and it would merge that with the video.

    In the worst case scenario it would take one computer a month do to audio and image watermaking for 50.000 but since I read somewhere that there is only about 20.000 screeners send out that could be done in 15 days for a movie.
    Now Sony movie branch have some 300 releases and a very big farm of PCs so they should be done in hours.

    Of course if they don't use a master press for the DVDs otherwise the cost would skyrocket because the master print cast would be a physical object and each cost in the neighborhood of 10 grand and it would take months to do it.

    And one thing about watermarking is that it doesn't show the guy who did it.

    If you send something to a guy and he lives with four other people who did it?

    The guy could have lend it to someone, could have someone who works for him do it without his knowledge.

    Watermarking doesn't prove anything and it needs to be followed by a proper investigation which of course is the bane of the entertainment industry they don't like to follow proper procedures they like to invent absurd laws and be damned with common sense and justice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 2:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "the shoplifters are winning, let's just give up"

    St Francis of Assisi has the answer to that one:

    Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can, and
    the wisdom to know the difference.


    The sting in the tail is the last bit....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 4:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All of which is meaningless unless you know how the revenue was distributed across the movies made.

    The figures are consistent with a core of "successful movies" which bring in most of the revenue and a tail of "unsuccessful movies" that keeps getting bigger (because people see the profits made by the successful kind and want a piece of the action) and makes a loss. Although the figures are consistent with this conclusion you can't really draw it (or any similar type of conclusion) without more data.

    However two things stand out as irrefutable from the figures:

    1. People are spending more on movies than before - even in a recession with disposable income falling.

    2. Movie makers believe that it's worth making more films than ever before - otherwise they wouldn't do it. So they do not actually believe their own rhetoric about filesharing when they come to put their money down.

    Neither of these is consistent with the theory that filesharing is causing significant damage to the film industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How did I know this fool was going to dive into this thread?

    "1) I didn't specifically talk about this movie, notice I said "pre-release""

    Everybody else was talking about this particular movie, and noting how watermarking was an utterly ridiculous notion since it's already out, both illegally and legally (in other countries). How does a watermark make sense here?

    Even if you consider pre-release copies as a whole, do they really stop "piracy". I doubt it. People who leak copies don't tend to assume they'll be caught, and IIRC correctly only one or two people ever have been caught through a watermarked copy. They're not impossible to strip from movies anyway, and even if they were 100% successful, what would they do? Prevent a "pirate" leak for one, maybe two weeks?

    "2) the logical conclusion on pre-release movies is only to release them with massive watermarks or not at all"

    You have to, again, assume that watermarks work, and that they work 100%.

    Also, going back to the issue at hand, watermarks are clearly pointless in the case of Moon. Not only are the "pirate" copies already out there, but movies with Oscar nods are *absolutely demonstrated* to generate more revenue.

    It's an argument for common sense, again. You're arguing for the corporate drones who are so scared of piracy they can't even see that it's not preventable in this case. Meanwhile, in doing so, they're destroying a virtually guaranteed way to generate more income for the future. All because they don't want an additional expense which is absolutely unnecessary. In 3 months time, the Oscars will be over and the US DVD/Blu-Ray will be out. An Oscar nomination would make a big difference over how many are sold - piracy or no piracy.

    It's a shame that in a year where Moon and District 9 proved there were still intelligent sci-fi stories to be made, the people behind (and defending) the business side lack any measure of common sense.

    "3) "the shoplifters are winning, let's just give up""

    You've been warned about this dumb logical fallacy many times, so I won't repeat it here. But, as ever, nobody's saying "give up". We're arguing for a logical and profitable way to bypass any negative aspects of file sharing. In this case, pushing for an Oscar nomination with standard DVDs would fall into that category.

    Not pushing your critically acclaimed movie because someone might pirate it? That's giving up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    dorp, Jan 6th, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ahh, yes, Anti-Mike, so now you decided to misrepresent the data.

    The numbers that you are using are for ALL movies, no matter how small of a showing they had and what indie group released them. You, on purpose of course, are ignoring that since September several huge blockbusters released: Avatar, Twilight, The Blind Side, 2012, Alvin and Sherlock Holmes. They alone added up to more than $1.2 billion gross and pushing the 2009 number beyond 2008. And that's still missing many movies that made more than $20 mil.

    If you are to compare the haul for the big movie studios (you know, the ones you defend), they made out like bandits. So yet again, you have no data to back up your assertions, in particular in context of big movie studios. But go ahead, keep on trolling. Meanwhile, here is the link with numbers for all that "suffering" big studios are going through: http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    icon
    SomeGuy (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 12:19pm

    Re:

    But this isn't good for Sony.

    Sony makes movies, movies require actors, actors like recognition, and one of the best sorts of recognition is awards like this. if people think this Moon actor has a shot at an award and Sony won't support their own movie people are going to get the message: work for Sony and you'll waste your time and lose any chance of an award for your efforts.

    Actors in Sony movies will get fewer awards, so the good talent will stop working with Sony and Sony will be unable to make good movies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    +1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Jan 6th, 2010 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It's an argument for common sense"
    The problem with that statment it that it has been repeatedly proven TAM has no common sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Jan 7th, 2010 @ 3:24am

    Re: Re:

    They make good movies???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    SomeGuy (profile), Jan 7th, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re:

    Reputation.

    An actor is better off turning down a part in a bad movie, for example, because they have a reputation built on the parts they play and the movies they're in. If they're in a bad m,ovie, it hurts their reputation.

    Similarly, an actor who gets more awards builds a better reputation and becomes more desirable. Unless THE ONLY JOB they can get is from Sony, they're better off taking a part in a film that just might get an award nomination.

    Essentially, if this continues, the only ones who will work on Sony movies will be the ones who HAVE to, and desperate actors probably aren't good actors... and bad actors don't make successful movies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 7th, 2010 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That one armored truck did give an Oscar worthy performance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 11th, 2010 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    congratulations on adding nothing to the plate and yet somehow getting people to respond to you.

    Seriously, you posted a bunch of nothing, worthless, pointless, nothing. Just like me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This