If you’re an American, you have it easy; films come out, stay in the cinema for a couple of weeks, and they’re given ridiculous age certificates meaning you can enjoy any film regardless of your age. Some people aren’t quite so privileged. American films sometimes take months to reach us here in the UK; we have the occasional British film such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz or In The Loop to brag about getting early, but let’s quit with the patriotism and just stick with the facts: most of the films shown at cinemas here are American, and most of them have come out a long time after they’ve been out in the States.
Let’s take the horror flick Jennifer’s Body as an example. Panned by critics State-side for weeks, British audiences have yet to get a taste of the Megan Fox-starring movie, thanks to the 6th November release date. That’s almost fifty days after the God-loving, Obama-led nation of the United States started screening the film. Is there any good reason for this? Not really. I mean, it’s not like it needs to be translated into a different language, or get past some kind of censor (it’s been given a 15 certificate in Britain for a long time now). To be honest, those don’t even appear to be issues with this film, considering it’s already seen a release in Spain, Russia, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, France, Brazil, and Estonia.
Adventureland is an equally good example. Released in the USA on 3rd April 2009, the film scored a release in South Africa, Turkey, Italy, Romania, Iceland, Ecuador and Argentina before it finally game to the UK on September 11th, when the unrated DVD was already on sale in the States. What is with that? I anticipate the day that all films have worldwide release dates and we can watch them all in high definition in the comfort of our homes without messing around with international dates and cinemas. Can’t we take a leaf out of Home‘s book?
And what about DVDs? Sunshine Cleaning is a film I’ve really wanted to see for a long time; unfortunately, since it’s basically a US indie film, the release was not very wide here in the UK. Out of the three cinemas near me, it only came out in the small, independent one… for about three days. Great, awesome. Now what? Travel hundreds of miles to the next major city to see it, or… wait for the DVD release in November. Or import the DVD from Amazon US. Hmm. Tough decision.
Rant’s over for now, but my points still stand. Film release dates really piss me off. Come on, fix this, distributors! Fix it fast!