New LOTR Easily Available Online, But Still Had Great Opening

from the do-these-things-match? dept

At what point does the movie industry realize that maybe (just maybe) the world doesn’t work the way they think it works? I don’t know how many folks went to the movies this weekend, but I went Saturday night and there were huge lines of folks to see the final chapter in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy: “The Return of the King”. All showings were easily sold out. In fact, it looks as though it’s setting records for how much money it took in over its first five days. At the same time, though, the industry is complaining that the movie is available online. It appears that the industry has some blinders on to reality: people want to see these movies in the theater. They’re selling out a record number of showings and bringing in a stunning amount of money. If the industry’s fears were true, then everyone would just be sitting at home downloading the movie, which is clearly available. Instead, people want to see it at the theater. Going to the movies is a social experience. You go with friends, and watch it on a big screen with a great sound system and lots of others in the audience to enjoy the overall experience. If the industry is really worried about downloads, they should focus on making the movie-going experience even more enjoyable – and not just worry about where the content is available.

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Comments on “New LOTR Easily Available Online, But Still Had Great Opening”

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Director Mitch (user link) says:

Re: The cinema offers a large screen.

My cinema experience would have been better if the 100 teenage girls in the audience didn’t squeel every time Legolas came on the screen.

In all seriousness, there is just no way you could see this movie on your laptop and not want to see it as it was meant for the big screen.

Even for DVD sales later, what makes the ~$18-$25 worthwhile for the DVD over just downloading and burning it are all the “extras”, the ability to subtitle (expecially for movies that are hard to understand with accents, like Gosford Park), the director commentary, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Mike, you say the movie’s obviously freely available online but I don’t really think that’s true. If you tasked the folks waiting in line at the theater with figuring out how to download and watch this movie on their computers, and gave them a good couple of hours to get it going, something like 90% of them would not be able to do it. I think, the way things are right now, this is not exactly trivial and most people would have no idea of even where to begin to find this “freely available” movie, let alone what it means to download it, how to play it, etc. The vast majority of the people have no idea how to do that stuff.

But the movie industry folks realize that this will become easier and easier and maybe next year or two years from now half the people waiting in line will figure out how to download the movie for free. That doesn’t mean that all of them will do it, but I bet a whole lot more of them will. Not to mention that right now watching a downloaded movie pretty much sucks, but in a few years the quality of the movie and the projection equipment will improve.

So I totally think they have a point.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

So I totally think they have a point.

I’d bet that a fairly large percentage of folks who went to see LOTR:ROTK in the first few days is handy enough with Kazaa to figure out how to use it.

More to the point: so what? If they want to combat this, trying to stop movie downloaders is *impossible*. Increasing the value people get for actually attending the movie is both doable and makes things better for consumers. Which path makes more sense to you?

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