Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

‘Zombieland’, ‘Jackass’ Get 3-D Sequels

Variety has confirmed that Sony is making an effort to ink deals with the team behind “Zombieland” and plans are to bring the film to 3-D. Director Ruben Fleischer is set to return, as well as writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Meanwhile, stars Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg are in talks, but the feeling is that both would likely return.

Meanwhile, Paramount is moving forward with a third Jackass, entitled “Jackass 3”. Duh. This time though, the film will move to a third dimension. Filming is set to begin Jan. 25, 2010 and will hit later that year.

For more on why Zombieland was on shaky ground at first, hit the jump.

The first Zombieland, despite being absolutely hilarious and awesome, only went on to make $75 million domestic (it is still playing at a few locations). That also flies in the face of its 89% rating with over 190 reviews on RT. Why it didn’t do better is unclear, but there is something to be said about Zombieland being one of the most pirated films these past few months. Reese spoke about this on Tribal Wars:

“Hi all, since I’m the one who unwittingly started this particular firestorm, here are my thoughts.

My two tweet plea (five if you include my three angry tweets to individuals) began after I read tweet upon tweet for hours, days, weeks, in which people mentioned (or often, bragged) openly about having just watched Zombieland at home for free. I largely shrugged this piracy off as inevitable, but it never felt good to read the tweets. Then I saw the 60 Minutes episode on piracy. And then I read an article about the sheer numbers of downloads of Zombieland in particular. Rightly or wrongly, I felt burned. For the record, I may have been over-dramatic, in my emotional state, in suggesting that downloading could kill Zombieland 2. It could. In our case, the greater hope/expectation is that it won’t. The movie has done very well.

No, I don’t believe that 1 download = 1 lost ticket sale or 1 lost DVD sale. Certainly, there are many people who both contribute to a movie’s legitimate B.O. and also download the movie… including, it turns out, the people I singled out on Twitter. There are also many people who download movies who would never pay to see those same movies in any format regardless. But I do believe that there is a significant, non-trivial population of people who might have (in an ideal world with no piracy) paid to see Zombieland, either in theaters or on DVD, but instead chose to watch it for free, because it was easy and didn’t cost them anything.

No, I don’t subscribe to the Robin Hood argument, which claims that rich, greedy Hollywood studios/actors/writers/etc. have enough $ and don’t need more. Nor do I subscribe to the argument that examines positive correlations between downloads and box office and concludes that popularity in the one (downloads) is somehow causing the popularity in the other (box office). Correlation does not imply causality.

Some might argue that an ideal world *should* allow unlimited piracy of copyrighted material. I disagree. And I agree with the reasoning behind copyright law. Copyright law grants the owner of a copyright a window of time within which he/she can make money off the copyright. I hate to say it, but people making money off art, even a lot of money, is a good thing. It’s America. It’s capitalism. Copyright law is important because it provides financial incentive for artists to set aside other pursuits and devote entire careers to creating and innovating. Movies. Books. Videogames. Songs. These things bring us joy. And joy is worth paying for.

I can only assume that lovers of piracy relish the improvements in copying/distribution technology that make pirating all the easier and gradually improve the quality of what is being pirated… to where a pirated copy will ultimately be indistinguishable in quality from an original. But take this to its logical conclusion, and it isn’t hard to see why everyone should be concerned. Human nature sadly dictates that few people will pay for what they can get for free. In a world where all art is instantly available for nothing, no one will be able to make a living as an artist. Nor will anyone invest any capital in art. So… no more movies. No more videogames. No more albums. TV shows. Etc.

I by no means want to be an anti-piracy crusader, and I’m now going to step away from the debate. I’m not a very political person. On a very basic level, my tweets were just the defensive reactions of an artist who hates seeing people brazenly proclaim that they’re pirating his work.

I really like the genuine debate that has been inspired by this thread. There are obviously different sides of this issue, and different complexities within it. I’ve been called a lot of things in the last week, a number of which have been pretty crazy, and I just wanted to make the most reasoned response I could. Paying for art isn’t the most objectionable thing in the world. In fact, it’s a very beneficial thing.

PS, thanks for weighing in, everyone, especially those who supported my point of view. Suicide Taxi, in particular, makes a TON of sense to me!

SG”

Super-Grover is his screen name on Tribal Wars.

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December 3, 2009 - Posted by | Breakin' News, Film announcements | , , , ,

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