...and patience is a thing I'll be needing over the next few months. As most of you know, I proudly hail from the lush green pastures of New Zealand, which has it's advantages (so much green, so much air, so much country-ness), but it comes with it's disadvantages. I'm thinking first-world problems here: our release dates are all out of whack. So let me expose this blasphemy towards our beautiful nation and the film-loving people (i.e. me) who live in it!
As we all know, awards season is coming soon. In America, Thanksgiving weekend brought along such films as The Artist, Hugo, The Muppets, My Week with Marilyn and A Dangerous Method - all movies which are apparently extremely deserving of awards attention. Yet, in NZ, our releases for the week were Arthur Christmas and Immortals - the former being on time and a possible awards contender, the latter a little late and not that hopeful. Those five movies that the lovely Americans enjoyed this weekend? Well, we get The Muppets on December 29th, Hugo on January 12th, The Artist on February 9th, My Week with Marilyn on March 8th and A Dangerous Method on April 26th. That's not all, though. Everyone else gets movies on DVD before we get them in cinemas. It happened with Hanna. And now it's happening with heavy awards contenders The Ides of March and Moneyball. Both of these titles are scheduled to come out on DVD in January. And while you enjoy them in your homes, I will be shooting off to the cinema and writing a review for a couple of films that you probably would have forgotten about, in February.
It seems that the awardsy type movies are taking the biggest hit. On one hand, we have Steven Spielberg's War Horse coming out on January 12th, three weeks after the Christmas release everywhere else. On the other end of the scale, we have Anton Yelchin/Felicity Jones tearjerker Like Crazy out on February 2nd, 14 weeks after America. J. Edgar is released on the same day, 12 weeks after America. Carnage comes out here on February 23rd, 10 weeks after America. Shame the same day, 12 weeks after America. Martha Marcy May Marlene has it's big release on March 15th, 21 weeks after America. 50/50, released in September in America, still hasn't been given a release date here. But that's not the worst of it: America got Warrior on September 9th. 25 weeks later on March 1st, we finally get to see it. See a pattern here?
These movies are all apparently very good, critically acclaimed movies. Yet, we don't get them on time. What we do get on time, however, are big blockbusters. Movies with release dates that coincide with America are: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part I, New Year's Eve, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, This Means War, John Carter, The Hunger Games, Brave, The Amazing Spider-Man (we actually get that a week before America) and The Dark Knight Rises (thank goodness). Are we seeing more of pattern here?
I get it. Little movies like Martha Marcy May Marlene and Like Crazy aren't destined to make lots of money. Big movies like Breaking Dawn and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol are. But does that really mean that all some little, innocent movies should be shafted to fit the 'greedy money-grubbers'? And even the 'greedy money-grubbers' get denied good release dates. Puss in Boots is being released this week, after 6 weeks, Dolphin Tale doesn't come out until early next year, and we had to wait a fair few weeks to see Crazy, Stupid, Love. So really, it all comes down to this: why does New Zealand always get shafted when it comes to release dates? It's not like we've done anything wrong. We were the people behind Lord of the Rings. We made the Avatar's. Our scenery is often used because we're just such a beautiful place. We're not just that little country that's split into three islands, that has a lot of sheep and the 'funny' accent. We're just like anyone else.
My question is, why don't we all just have the same release dates? Surely it would just make life easier. Sure, having a couple weeks between us and America is understandable. But I really can't justify the 25 weeks it will take to get Warrior in cinemas here. We usually get our films at the same time as Australia, but even they got it months before us. Let's look at it this way: if people want to see movies and they can't, they will take to illegally download it. And illegal downloads lead to loss of money. Which is obviously not what the studios want. Trust me, I know people who unfortunately have downloaded films that aren't released here until as late as March next year.
You can tell me to just be patient, but I have seriously had enough. You can tell me that this is only a minor problem, but it's time that someone spoke out about it in some way (even if it's just a tiny blog post that no-one will take seriously). But why should we have to wait so long? I think it's utterly ridiculous.
As I said, first-world problems.