Real reason we get new movies weeks after the US
THERE'S nothing more frustrating than reading glowing reviews about a movie that's out in the United States only to discover that it won't be released in Australia for a couple of weeks.
Every now and then we Aussies get overlooked and while movie fans overseas are lapping up the latest films, we're left twiddling our thumbs while singing What About Me?
For example, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's much raved about film, A Star is Born, won't be released in Australia until October 18, almost two weeks after it's out in the US.
Jane Fonda's Book Club only came out in Australia last month even though it was released in the US back in May.
And some moviegoers were up in arms last year when The Lego Batman Movie was released here more than six weeks after it hit cinemas in America.
So why does this happen? According to the Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Australia, New Zealand and Northern Asia, Stephen Basil-Jones, there are several reasons.
"Firstly, it could be holiday timing, a seasonality thing with different countries," Mr Basil-Jones explained. "The US summer is different to ours … and they will have some particular holidays that are relevant to those in North America compared to the rest of the world.
"The holiday timing is always a difficult one. If you've got family film like a Pixar film … you've just got to think when families are available to go and see it. It's very difficult to release a film like that outside of holidays and do the business you want to do."
Another factor is the availability of movie stars and when they can make it to Australia to promote the film.
"Sometimes territories may wait until after the talent has done a lot of publicity work for North America, they'll wait until they can come down and tour in this market," he said.
"A country like Australia might wait and say, 'No, we'll wait for a couple of weeks so we can get some stars to tour here'."
The other big factor is competition.
"If you don't give a film a good release date and an opportunity to be seen … if it gets suffocated by something big then it doesn't matter how much marketing you throw at it, you might already be cooked," Mr Basil-Jones told news.com.au.
"Giving them that clear window of opportunity and not competing against a similar film is very important because you don't want to cannibalise the same audience.
"You've got to be absolutely aware of your competition. We spend a lot of time getting intel on the others and their commercial success in other markets. We get intel from the US about reviews, ratings, who it's appealing to, exit polls, all that sort of stuff."
Mr Basil-Jones added that although release dates can occasionally be delayed in Australia, it is getting rarer and rarer.
"It has got a lot closer for a couple of reasons," he said. "Firstly, digitalisation, the fact that the whole physical procedure of getting films here has improved remarkably. And secondly, because of the piracy issue, they've tried to get films here much quicker.
"There are different timings, don't get me wrong, but I just want to say it's got a lot quicker and there's more timely releases with the US than there ever used to be."
The piracy issue is mostly a concern for massive movies which Mr Basil-Jones told news.com.au is the reason why huge movies are rarely delayed in Australia.
"If you look at the blockbusters, the Marvel films and Pixar films or a Bond film, it's very rare for there to be too much of a delay in those," he said.
"A studio would be fraught to delay it because of the piracy concerns, particularly for those types of films … For mainstream movies piracy is really concerning and particularly in that age group of 12-35 because there's such a desire to see it now before hearing any spoilers, there is that demand and the propensity of that audience to pirate more than others."
So there you have it, they're the reasons why we can sometimes get movies after the US. As for what you should go to see next, here are the big movies coming our way:
Venom - October 4: When Eddie Brock (played by Tom Hardy) acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego "Venom" to save his life.
First Man - October 11: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
A Star is Born - October 18: A musician (Bradley Cooper) helps a young singer and actor (Lady Gaga) find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.
Beautiful Boy - October 25: A movie that chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.