Home Opinion Midweek Mouth-off: Release date delays and piracy

Midweek Mouth-off: Release date delays and piracy

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The World’s End is the highly anticipated final chapter in Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Cornetto Trilogy. The film opens in the UK this Friday. Us South Africans, well, we have to wait until 15 November to watch it. Similarly, The Evil Dead remake finally opens here on 16 August, despite releasing in the States back in April. And in the past local cinephiles have had to wait over half a year to see the likes of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World and The Cabin in the Woods. In those cases, the films were available on DVD and download overseas before they even screened in our local moviehouses.

While many films open in South Africa at the same time, or within a couple of weeks of their international debuts, very often it’s the more offbeat, hard-to-sell films with “niche” geek appeal that are subjected to these massive delays. Today we want to know if you feel this contributes to piracy? Have you ever been tempted to download a movie because of long local waiting periods, queue it up on Netflix or import it from overseas?  Are you happy to wait? Or does it drive you crazy with frustration? Are local distributors hurting themselves with this approach? Let us know.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: July 17, 2013


  1. Andre116

    July 17, 2013 at 10:14

    I was actually thinking about this when I read Kervyn’s Extras yesterday. Evil Dead is releasing on Blu Ray and DVD in the states this week. It is only arriving on our big screen in August. There is not really big incentive to go watch it on the big screen if I can get it in glorious high definition right now. The release dates are definitely adding to piracy.


  2. Lardus

    July 17, 2013 at 10:34

    Definitely adding to piracy. I remember back in my student days I was a poor pirate. I got this AWESOME movie from someone call Equilibrium. Never heard of it before I got it but thought it was the greatest EVER! Couple of months later it only opened in the cinemas. Really, it adds to motivation for pirates.


  3. Drizzt

    July 17, 2013 at 10:49

    I would say with out a doubt it contributes to piracy. In this digital age why do we have to wait so long? What excuse could there possibly be?

    These products do not get shipped the the public in their respective countries the day they are complete. There is a lead time for it to get to any consumers hands, they also require classification, distribution etc.

    One of South Africa’s problems is the FPB (Film Publication Board). They appear (surprise, surprise) to be incapable of keeping up with the content the rest of the world is providing.

    Second I would have to say the system for getting these products to to our country must be broken. Unfortunately it seems there is no drive to improve anything.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      July 17, 2013 at 11:34

      I’ve tried finding out why certain titles get delayed and most often I either can’t get a concise answer, or its just blamed on the distributor getting the video into the country late. And some of these delays are just silly.

      Eg, Killer Joe came out in the States in Dec 2012, and was scheduled for a later Jan release here. We saw the press screening in early or mid Jan. The the film was pushed back to a late Feb release, then a June release and now I believe it’s coming out in August.

      And remember, we saw it already, in the cinema, in January!


      • Wtf101

        July 17, 2013 at 11:51

        Before your comment, I have not even heard of Killer Joe. So it does make a bit of sense if it got pushed back to make space for a more financially viable movie perhaps? But this is me guessing really.


    • Andre116

      July 17, 2013 at 13:36

      I don’t know if the FPB can be blamed for it all. Why do all the big films (Avengers, Iron man, etc) get an international release date. I doubt that their publishers threw more money at them then other publishers. They were maybe better prepared and got their paper work in order before hand.

      I also don’t think that it is a uniquely South African problem. We might just have gotten divided into a lower priority zone.

      I’m just guessing here of course. If anybody actually knows these things, I would love to know.


  4. Wtf101

    July 17, 2013 at 11:00

    Generally I go see a movie in the cinema if I am interested enough. There is no way you can not see something as good as Man of Steel on the big screen.

    Other than that, I wait for the DVD release. But I have to admit (and I feel bad for doing so) I really wanted to see Bad Ass starring Danny Trejo. So I went to my local DVD stores, and got a prompt sorry we do not stock that movie at all.

    So, I did the torrent thing.

    The good news is that the movie was good enough that I am going to buy it come next payday.


    • Kromas

      July 17, 2013 at 11:03

      Did the same with Scott Pilgrim. Now I own the DVD.


  5. Kromas

    July 17, 2013 at 11:05

    Hell it is not even movies. I recently heard the grand showing of the first episode of Defiance. A week after I watched the last episode. Only reason I own DSTV is for rugby. NETFLIX FTW!


  6. Kervyn Cloete

    July 17, 2013 at 11:29

    I remember one of the most infamous examples of this was Blade 2. If I recall correctly, it opened in cinemas here just a couple weeks short of a year after it had opened everywhere else. By which time, a whole lot of people had already seen it by some other means (admittedly, including myself) and thus never went to see it in cinemas.

    This staggered distribution model just doesn’t make sense anymore.


    • Wtf101

      July 17, 2013 at 12:22

      I wouldn’t feel too bad about pirating Blade 2. I went to the cinema to see it and felt robbed…


    • Noelle Adams

      July 17, 2013 at 13:13

      Underworld I believe had a massive delay of like 10 months between US and SA release


  7. DarthofZA

    July 17, 2013 at 12:01

    I hate the delay. But I still can’t bring myself to watch a pirated version. I was once at a mate’s house for a movie night, and one of the movies was a download. The whole time I sat there thinking I’m no better than the thieves I hate who stole my car. So no, I won’t pirate it, but yes, it annoys the crap out of me!


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