History repeats. CNET reports that “The LEGO Batman Movie” has been delayed in Australian cinemas by its distributor Roadshow Films until March 30th. That’s seven weeks after the film’s release around much of the rest of the world such as in the United States and United Kingdom.
What makes this interesting is back in 2014 “The LEGO Movie” underwent a similar delay in Australia – pushed back from an early February 2014 release, which was day-and-date with the U.S., to an April 2014 bow to try and take advantage of the school holidays.
It backfired and Roadshow’s chief Graham Burke, who has become one of the most vocal critics of film piracy in recent years, reportedly said it cost the company up to $5 million in lost ticket revenue:
“We made one hell of a mistake with Lego… We held it for a holiday period, it was a disaster. It caused it to be pirated very widely. And as a consequence: No more. Our policy going forward is that all of our movies will release day and date with the United States.”
Roadshow has stuck to its promise for the most part with delays usually fairly minimal between U.S. and Australian releases, making a delay like this stand out all the more. They also recently picked up “Moonlight,” the Barry Jenkins-directed drama and potential awards nominee which no Australian distributor seemed to want to touch until they scored it the other week. “Moonlight” will get a January 26th release in Australia with sneak previews the weekend before.
Australia was also host to much of the production on both “LEGO” films thanks to local animation house Animal Logic.