Hollywood Desperate To Blame Bad Opening Box Office Of Expendables 3 On Piracy Rather Than The Fact That It Sucked
from the might-be-another-factor... dept
It’s been kind of crazy to watch movie studio Lionsgate go absolutely crazy over the fact that The Expendables 3 leaked online a few weeks ago. Within a few days, Lionsgate had filed a massive lawsuit, been granted a restraining order and followed it up with thousands of takedown notices, combined with targeting everyone from hosting providers to domain registrars, in a quixotic attempt to make the leaked files disappear.
The movie finally opened for real and the results — $16.2 million — were considered a disappointment. The credulous reporters over at Variety immediately have decided to pin the blame on the leak, rather than the fact that almost everyone agrees the movie sucks and that the third film in a crappy franchise almost never does particularly well anyway. The report points to some research claiming that when a film leaks, “it loses nearly 20 percent of its potential revenue.” Variety conveniently leaves out the fact that the research was done via a program “made possible through a gift from the MPAA,” which kinda seems relevant….
Meanwhile, it seems relevant that another study of a leak a few years ago of Wolverine under fairly similar circumstances suggested that the leak actually helped the film at the box office. At best, it seems that Hollywood might legitimately claim that the leaked copy made people realize that the movie sucked and told their friends not to go, but then they’re left arguing that they “made a movie so bad that pirates–who paid nothing to watch–told people it wasn’t worth seeing.” That doesn’t really sound like it’s the leak’s fault… so much as the fact that the movie sucked.
As always, the same basic rule has applied to movies: make a good product and any leak isn’t going to have significant impact at the box office. People go out to the movies for the social experience of it. A good movie is an event. Make a good movie and the fact that it leaks online isn’t going to have much of an impact. That’s not what happened here.