It's coming a little late today, but on the west coast it's technically still morning. Over the past week, I've been reading tons of articles on movie piracy -- but more specifically, how copies of both Hostel: Part II and Sicko have already leaked online. With regards to the Hostel sequel, director Eli Roth has already gone on record saying that those early leaks greatly contributed to his film failing at the box office. Since it's a smaller film, a few thousand downloads could very well hurt the pic's overall gross ... or so he says. We'll have to wait a couple weeks to see if Michael Moore's latest documentary suffers the same fate; Sicko isn't scheduled to hit theaters until June 29. But if both films wind up doing poorly when it's all said and done, is piracy really to blame?
For example, take a film like Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Here's a movie that's primarily geared toward a generation that's very knowledgeable when it comes to finding movies online for free. A very quick search lead me to a crystal clear version of the film online (and, trust me, I'm an idiot when it comes to this kind of stuff), yet it still opened this week at number one with roughly $57 million. Is it just a question of certain films being piracy proof? Or did Hostel: Part II fail for different reasons? And what if Sicko opens to great numbers -- will that mean Hostel II failed because of piracy and because it didn't feature a big fat guy talking about health care? Is it just me, or is movie piracy now becoming the go-to reason for a film's failure? If that were the case, then wouldn't more films this summer be suffering from piracy? Although I haven't downloaded any (because I absolutely refuse to do so), I've noticed almost all of the big films available for free online. And yet none of them seem to be playing the piracy card as much as Eli Roth has. Why? Because they're all making lots of money.
So, I ask you: Is piracy really to blame for the failure of a film like Hostel: Part II? And, in your opinion, is it really having that much of an impact to warrant us constantly talking about it?