EDITORIALS

Release Overlaps in America vs International

by
March 12, 2007

The Host posterI'm not going to argue theatrical release date vs DVD release date, and I know that Japan (specifically) and America have always had vastly different release schedules, but this one just blows me away. It's as if they're asking for a film to be pirated. I had heard somewhere that the DVD for Hot Fuzz was going to be released in the UK before it even released theatrically in the US. If that were actually true, they would be asking for disaster! Everyone already knows that most pirated copies of films come in internationally, it's just the Americans who download them the most! And a crystal clear DVD rip of a highly anticipated movie would be online within minutes, all before it comes out in America in theaters.

Hot Fuzz is not what got me considering this, it's the fantastic Korean monster movie The Host that just opened up last Friday here in America.

I was browsing around the internet scouring for some news and interesting topics and found a website called Eat My Brains (about zombies and horror). On there they had a listing for a contest to win DVD copies of The Host. I did a double take then looked further and within the contest it states "Bong Joon-Ho's The Host finally comes to UK DVD on 5th March on a two-disc special edition format (£17.99)." Wait, what, it comes out on DVD 4 days before it comes out in theaters in America?!

I've been supporting this film as much as possible because it's actually really good and I want people to go out and see it in theaters while it's still playing. Yet, if people want to see it, they're going to sit at home and download a pristine copy of the DVD rip instead of wasting money and time to go to a smelly, sticky movie theater (the experience is a whole issue on its own). Please don't do that, PLEASE go see this in theaters if you want to see it!

I'm just utterly confused at how there is so much miscommunication between the distribution and production company, especially when the American studios and distributors are the ones getting angry that downloading happens. This film seems like there is no connection at all between who distributes it in America and in the UK and all over Europe and Japan and Korea. Each one is a new company, and it's then guaranteed that if one company puts it out on DVD anywhere besides the US, it will be available for download within minutes. Yet it's the US distributor who gets angry when they put it out in theaters and no one goes to see it because it's being downloaded.

I understand that they release it in different places worldwide for different reasons (and obviously in Korea way before America), but there should be some better coordination and timing, especially with a country so connect to ours as England. I hate to bring up the subject of downloading and focus on it for any length of time, but this one just got to me. If you really want to see The Host and live in America, then make sure to go see it in theaters, don't download it.

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