Crying Wolf(erine)?

Technically, this is the fourth 'X-Men' movie ...To no one’s surprise, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” topped the box-office this weekend, grossing $87 million — nearly six times the intake of the #2 release, “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past”.

Now, it’s no surprise that an icky-looking Matthew McConaughey comedy couldn’t compete with a major studio tentpole — that’s just not the way the world works — but what is intriguing is the fact that “Wolverine” did so well after being available online for a full month in a near-complete version.

Obviously, this means one of two things: Either the piracy issue isn’t as pervasive as the MPAA’s rather hysterical pronouncements would have us believe, or people really do download a movie in order to decide whether they want to see it on the big screen, where the experience will be bigger and louder.

The latter angle is the one the AP is pursuing in this piece, which sends a reporter to ask people leaving a “Wolverine” screening whether they’d already seen the pirated version. (And I’m sure those people were completely honest in their responses.)

But the article leaves out a key factor, which is that “Wolverine” kind of sucks. If piracy was really that much of a threat — or at least as much of a threat as the studio flacks want people to think that it is — then surely word-of-mouth on the film would have been building up to toxic levels in the month it’s been available. Therefore, not too many people were watching it. Certainly not the MILLIONS OF CONTENT THIEVES!!! who we’re told are THREATENING THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY!!!, anyway.

Of course, it could just be that people who watch illegally downloaded movies don’t care about the quality of said movies. Does anybody know whether “Meet the Spartans” did particularly well on the torrents?

4 thoughts on “Crying Wolf(erine)?”

  1. don’t joke norm. i wouldn’t doubt turds like meet the spartans are huge in the torrent world.

    i’m convinced that people who are into watching poor quality movies (both in video quality and cinematic quality) on their computers were likely never going to go to the theater in the first place.

    for now it’s a different audience.

  2. Word of mouth on this movie has been pretty toxic. Yet it still did well. Not only do audiences not listen to critics anymore, they don’t even listen to other fans.

  3. My local convenience store in the heart of Parkdale (a nice family run place with a cool store cat ) recently began stocking pirated DVDs.

    It was a little odd when they first started – they’re all in a pile next to the cash. I asked the woman if the burn of “Knowing” was a digital copy of the movie or a camcorder shoot. She looked at me and pointed at the pile and said “It’s the movie”.

    In a somewhat related point – saw Wolverine at the AMC Theatre at Dundas and Yonge on Sunday. It was the 11:30am matinee and the theatre was three quarters full. That $6 before noon deal (on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays) is great and hey, they may now be the best theatres in town?

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