Tag Archives: Village Roadshow

Here’s All The Cinemas Doing Preview Screenings of The LEGO Movie 2 This Weekend

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As a metaphorical olive branch to those of us angry about The LEGO Movie 2′s official release date of March 21st, Roadshow are running a series of special preview screenings this weekend (Febuary 9th & 10th).

These dates line up perfectly with the official US release and should help us all avoid the horror of spoilers.

I have got in touch with Roadshow and they were kind enough to provide the below list of all the cinemas running preview screenings. Hopefully this will help you find somewhere near you.

It’s Happening Again – The LEGO Movie 2 Delayed In Australia

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48 Days. That is the difference between the US release date (February 8th) and the current Australian release date (March 28) for The LEGO Move Part 2.

I’d love to pretend to be shocked by this, but I’m not. Village Roadshow co-CEO Graham Burke continues to make a mockery of his own statements on Australian release dates - ”Our policy go forward, is that all of our movies will release day and date with the United States”. On September 9th 2014 Mr Burke told the Online Copyright Infringement Forum that holding the LEGO Movie back 54 days was a mistake. It’s a mistake they keep making.

Village Roadshow is one of the most active participants in the battle against piracy here in Australia. Their strategy is simple – get stuff blocked. If sites are blocked then there is no way at all people will able to access pirated content according to their logic. The problem is that blocks are incredibly easy to get around.

People in Australia will pirate The LEGO Movie Part 2. I am willing to put money on that. Then Village Roadshow will come out and say that piracy really hurt the release and that more needs to be done. They might even say that they made a mistake. They won’t mean it. Not really.

The Australian release date is listed as March 28 in the Warner Bros media portal. This is subject to change but Roadshow also told me via Facebook that it will be March or even possibly April.

Village Roadshow Addresses The LEGO Batman Movie Delay

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After months of silence Bricking Around’s least favourite co-CEO Graham Burke has responded to criticism of The LEGO Batman Movie’s release date.

Speaking to CNET Mr Burke said “When certain films go out in non-holiday periods, our audiences get very cross because the kids are not available to take them to them.”

I am going to assume that Mr Burke means movies targeted to kids. I don’t know what evidence Mr Burke has of audiences getting very cross as he didn’t provide any specific examples. In my research I wasn’t able to find any evidence of Roadshow releasing a kids movie outside of school holiday periods.

I understand that Roadshow Films would have people running the numbers and making decisions based on information that isn’t publically available but from an outsider’s perspective it seems strange that they can definitively say that a February release would be bad, when there doesn’t actually seem to be any kids films released in February – ever. Right now the only kids films on are ones that have been out for quite a while. It’s practically a slot with zero competition. It also doesn’t seem to be a school holiday period in the US (I could be wrong there).

I’d also question the very premise that the film wouldn’t be available for school holidays if it was released now. The LEGO Movie was released in Australia on April 3rd, and according to Box Office Mojo it was still playing on June 8th. That is 67 days. A February 9th release date would, in theory, see the film still in cinemas until mid-April. The relevant school holidays start in early April. The Force Awakens was in cinemas for 97 days for what it’s worth.

It’s possible that The LEGO Batman Movie could be have been released at the same time as the US and still been available during the school holidays.

Mr Burke has also addressed his previous comment that all films would be released the same date as the US. What he actually meant was the same date as the US except when they don’t.

The issue of piracy was addressed; “We’ll still lose a lot of money to piracy at this point in time. But it was a trade off. There will be more money lost by having it released in a non-holiday period as opposed to releasing it when the people want to see it.”

Firstly, people want to see it now. Secondly, based on other statements made it seems Mr Burke is overly confident in the new anti-piracy site blocking laws that are in place. In theory popular piracy sites are blocked, and that will stop pirates in their tracks. Except that the site blocking is absurdly easy to get around. The top result when googling “The Pirate Bay” is literally a site that features a list of alternative mirrors to the blocked site. According to Village Roadshow they are working with Google to literally change the search ranking of sites like that. They also plan to block a further 40 sites this month. Even if you couldn’t Google your way around the block you can very quickly change your DNS to an option that doesn’t block the sites. Google’s DNS servers are open and not subject to the same blocking rules as your ISP. You can learn more about Google DNS here.

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After having a quick check it seems that there are also multiple cam copies of the film already available – because access to the torrent sites isn’t blocked in countries where the film is available. So the film is being uploaded and it’s really easy for Australians to download it. What’s the next weapon Village Roadshow has? Lawsuits.

Village Roadshow have said that they are going to start suing individuals who illegally download their content. This was not specifically directed at The LEGO Batman Movie but it will be one of their biggest films of the year. It’s hard to know for sure how those lawsuits would play out. There were attempts to sue people who downloaded The Dallas Buyers Club but after a long and drawn-out process the case fizzled out and nobody had to pay anything. Village Roadshow may handle the cases in a more successful way – it’s too early to know.

With the threat of lawsuits and the fact that online copies are horrible cam versions I am by no means saying that you should go and download The LEGO Batman Movie.

Mr Burke seems to think that he can tackle this problem with blocks and lawsuits because most people are happy to wait – after all he did only get 14 emails about the issue (He seems to have missed the petition I created with over 200 signatures. I didn’t even promote that very well).

Myself and Bricking Around readers may be in the minority in wanting a February release but the parents that I spoke to would gladly have taken their kids on the weekend. Generally when a film is released the ticket sales stay steady for a few weeks and then drop off over time. A February release most likely would have resulted in a different pattern of ticket sales, but it’s a balancing act with piracy on one side and traditional release schedules on the other. I think the weight of piracy has reached a point where it’s time to consider what is on the other side of the scales, considering how much work seems to be involved in fighting the pirates in other ways.

Quotes via https://www.cnet.com/au/news/lego-batman-movie-australian-release-delayed-piracy-school-holidays/ and additional information from http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/piracy/village-roadshow-announced-an-aggressive-fivepoint-program-for-combating-piracy/news-story

Australians Will Have To Wait A Lot Longer Than Most To See The LEGO Batman Movie

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Graham Burke, the co-CEO of Village Roadshow, is a liar. On September 9th 2014 Mr Burke told the Online Copyright Infringement Forum that holding the LEGO Movie back 54 days was a mistake. He sat on stage and told the gathered representatives (including now PM Malcolm Turnbull) that it wouldn’t happen again. He lied. It’s happening again.

“We made one hell of a mistake with LEGO. It was an Australian film, we financed it together with Warner Brothers. It was made here in Kings Cross, in Australia. Because it was so important, we held it for a holiday period. It was a disaster. It caused it to be pirated very widely. And as a consequence, no more.

Our policy go forward, is that all of our movies will release day and date with the United States”

Just a few years later and here we are. The Australian opening of The LEGO Batman Movie has officially been confirmed for March 30th 2017. That is 48 days after the US opening. That is certainly not day and date with the US.

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Update: After a few people suggested doing so, I’ve created a change.org petition to see if we can make a difference. You can sign the petition here.