How Long Do US Movies Take To Reach Australian Cinemas On Average? [Infographic]

One of the chief justifications for pirating movies in Australia is the lengthy delays we're forced to endure by local distributors. Various film bodies have rubbished this argument, with Village Roadshow claiming that the majority of Australian release dates are roughly comparable to the US. This infographic paints a picture that's somewhere in-between.

Photo: legoforbrickmasters

The Guardian recently published an article comparing US and Australian release dates for popular movies. The data was based on the top 168 movies at the box office over the past two years. As the below chart shows, the vast majority of these movies were released in Australia after the US:

One of the worst offenders was the animated children's movie ParaNorman which appeared in local cinemas a whopping 146 days after its US debut. (Local distributors have a reputation for holding back family movies to take advantage of specific holiday periods.)

Other tardy releases included 12 Years a Slave (104 days), Last Vegas (94 days), Silver Linings Playbook (76 days) and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (69 days). On the other hand, some popular Hollywood movies — such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Thor: The Dark World — actually appeared in Australia first.

When all movies were tallied together, the average release date for Australia was 20 days behind the US. This is a lengthier delay than Village Roadshow would have us believe, but it's not exactly intolerably long either. You can check out a full breakdown of how the movie release dates compared here.

Australian film industry claims delayed release is rare but data shows otherwise [The Guardian]


    Where's the CEO of Village Roadshow to criticise this?

      someone deleted his "Internet icon, you know the big IE one" and now he cant find his way here

        He's probably a Mac anyway.

          He uses an iPad. He actually has a computer in the corner of his office but he doesn't know what it does.

            That's where his internets are downloaded.

              I thought you needed a CD to install the internet?

    20 days isn't that bad, but when it's months behind the US there is a problem, we live in a world where we could get it same day but for what ever reason decisions are being made for us that we don't want them at that time.

    differences in "holiday periods" aside, its pretty hard to find a reason these days why movies cant be released globally within one day, especially when there no language translation going on and if there is some sort of legitimate reason like "it still takes 3 weeks to ship the film here" then thats an issue in planning and logistics that can be fixed.

    Its pretty sad that a film can release, a guy with a camera in it hat can film it, upload it and i can download it on Australia's internet before the movie companies can even get a lawyer to spin a yarn about its delay

      As a veteran of the film industry - the reason behind the delay largely has to do with Australian classification legislation and release timing. Studio's carefully plan their releases to accrue maximum target audience (obviously sometimes they get it wrong) but this is to give it the best possible opening weekend. The exact number escapes me but basically if in the first 4 days a film doesn't make a decent profit your going to try to cut your loses.

      The studio I worked for would sometimes launch pre-US if we had a large première happening or some other strategic reason (such as Australia day long weekend or whatever).

      TV shows are a totally different animal and I personally blame Foxtel.

    The movies released ahead of the US, just how ahead are we talking? Same day better timezone ahead? Doesn't really compare to the delays which are definitely more than a single day.

      Click the guardian link. Majority are only 1 day ahead

        And those will simply be the time zone differences for movies released at midnight here.

          Not really. Movies are released on Thursday here and Friday in America so pretty much a 2 day head start if we include time zone differences.

    Am I the only person for whom there is no labeling on the chart

    I love that Australian movies can be delayed a DVD release until after they've had a US release, even if that is long after the Australian release.

    *cough* lego movie *cough*

      I was going to mention this movie too. Can't believe it didn't even get lip service in the article.

    It's not just about movies. TV is a problem aswell, things like Top Gear... always behind the UK.

      Plus why would you want to wait for it to air in Australia when they cut some of it to make space for adverts?

      We get Game of Thrones reasonably quickly. It's just $1 million on Foxtel.

    It's nothing like in the olden days. I remember rocking up to see The Lion King back in... 1993? A lifetime ago anyway... No matter. The reel had been through about nine months of use in cinemas in Americastan, and had all those lovely little random dark splotchy artifacts.

    Coupla months behind is sure annoying, but at least we're not getting second-hand reels of literally worn-out film.

      I once spoke with a projectionist who told me they handle the prints over there like "cowboys" and that projectionists here would get fired if they handled the prints like that.

    Okay, now apply this to Dr. Who or . 20 days converted to Facebook days = one hell of a lot of spoilers, no matter how careful you are. Hell, you couldn't browse Imgur without encountering Game of Thrones spoilers (and they weren't easy to avoid, as the titles were not obvious, nor were the images they were posting).

    It's easy enough for Mr. Roadshow to say it's not a long time between US and international releases -- he gets to see 'em before they get to cinemas here.

      This is why it's more relevant today than it has been prior to the explosion of social media.

      The global village is having a global conversation about media of interest, and when that conversation is instant and simultaneous to the content-release, that leaves release-disadvantaged regions out of the conversation.

      So, you can indulge in cost/consequence-free viewing to join the global conversation, or you can do without for 'the principle of the thing', where the principle is supporting distributor efforts to overcharge a region compared to the US.

      It's not really wonder we are where we are.

        Even without social magazine, you'd have to avert your eyes in newsagencies to avoid spoilers on the covers of magazines. Given how much cross-media ownership there is, the people who don't want you watching TV/movies too soon are trying to flog magazines to you that presume you've seen them. It's like Sony continually trying to beef up region protection AND selling region-free DVD players. Nothing like creating a fence and making money from both sides,

        Last edited 13/07/14 4:26 pm

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