Spider-Man 3 Pirating Debacle - Sony Says It's Not True
There is no worse killer in Hollywood than pirating. It's been downplayed a lot recently, but when I heard a rumor that Hot Fuzz would come out on DVD in the UK before it even made it into theaters in the US (which fortunately didn't happen), I knew that would be instant doom for the studio. And look what happened with Hot Fuzz anyway - it only made $5.8 million on the lowest weekend of the year so far.
I do our best to never really bring it up here and to emphasize theatrical attendance as much as possible. However with the impending release of Spider-Man 3 just 9 days away, reports have been making the rounds that Spider-Man 3 has already been pirated and is on the streets of China available for purchase. Sony released a statement saying it's not true, and I gladly agree with them after doing a bit of my own research.
Here's the statement released from Sony.
Contrary to news reports about stolen copies of Spider-Man 3 being sold illegally on the streets in China, our investigation in China has revealed no case of the film being pirated to date.
Similar hoaxes and false alarms have occurred prior to the release of other major films. We have uncovered examples of Spider-Man 2 being sold in Spider-Man 3 boxes in China. But thus far we can find no instance where Spider-Man 3 has appeared on DVD.
In addition, after an initial investigation of online sites worldwide, we have so far found no pirated copies of Spider-Man 3 on the Internet.
This incident underscores one of the problems with piracy -- people who buy illegal movies often get ripped off themselves.
The original report came from Hollywood Reporter (via SlashFilm since they removed their article) and I was a bit surprised, given that I really didn't expect it to be pirated this early. I was thinking it was all a bit of a joke some guys were pulling somewhere to drum up some fake news. That seems to be happening all too often these days, but it shouldn't matter. The outlook we can have on all of this is that we're just building up more excitement and more emphasis to go see Spider-Man 3 in the only place you should be seeing it and can see it: a movie theater. We hope to see you in theaters somewhere on May 4th!
i'm not sure you're being all that fair to "hot fuzz" - it made $5.8 million, sure, but on something like 825 screens! ("disturbia" is on over 3,000.) oh, and of course "hot fuzz" won't ultimately be huge: it's actually intelligent and funny.
Philip on Apr 25, 2007
I have to agree with Philip. I'm not thrilled that it only came in making $5.8 Million either, but looking at the per screen average is considerably better news. Looking at the per screen average of every film that made more than Hot Fuzz this weekend, the highest was Fracture, making $4,508 per screen followed closely by Disturbia, making $4,315 per screen. Then, we look at Hot Fuzz, which made $7,089 per screen and you begin to see how this film is a bigger success than the overall box office would indicate. I've been reading rumors of Rogue possibly expanding the release over the next week or two, which I think would be great!
FS Dave on Apr 25, 2007
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