So on a weekend that was probably record breaking for big time leaks of big tentpole films, a question we should be asking ourselves is what do these leaks really accomplish? Do they service a need that isn’t being met, or are most of us simply too spoilt to wait like we are made to?
The first thing we have to discuss or realise is that most of these leaks are a real legal issue, involving the breaching of contracts between provider and consumer. The nature of the business being what it is, it is important for press and certain elements to be able to view or see certain content before the general public, because that is what the studios can then use to help promote their film and it is meant to be a symbiotic relationship. These reviews or critics and then intern put under and embargo during which exactly what they can or cannot reveal about a project is made known to them. A good example is when films have press screenings prior to their release. The people who attended these events usually have some kind do outlet to which the general public can get a sense of the quality of the film, however depending on the content of said film and when the screening was held, certain information may be deemed not ready for public knowledge and as such those people are under embargo until a set date at which time they would be allowed to give their opinion. Now probably 99% of these people do not break those rules for a few reasons. One, they are aware that being caught would pretty much be the end of their being invited to such events again, and two, severe legal repercussions could be had. That all being said, some people still find it in themselves to leak some of this content.
Over this past weekend, we saw the leak of the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Batman V Superman film, which saw the studio having the release the official video of it. We also had supposed leaks at both Fox and Marvel, prompting more untimely and early releases of their content. So what does this cause? Well we have to look at this from two sides, the consumer and the producer sides. For the consumer, leaks are great. We get to see what it is we have been speculating on, so we get some of the answers we were looking for. We get something to discuss from water cooler to water cooler. And we usually force the suits at whichever company to come out with official information, or risk the internet running wild on some tangent. If however, we look at it from the producers stand point, we see a major breach in security. We lose the purpose to which we wanted to use the leaked information. a perfect example of this was the leak of the avengers trailers that was meant to air with an episode of the televisions show Agents of Shield. Now as the producers, we would have lost the boost that the trailer would have given to that show. Giving out early information, also means now we have a change in our timeline and plan for marketing. The general public is going to want more and more, usually to the detriment of the film in the end.
So what’s the answer? I wish i knew. When i hear of leaked this and leaked that, i usually like to wait for the real thing, so i can truly appreciate it as it was meant to be by its creators. Sometimes of course it can’t be helped, and you have almost no choice but to consume such content. Either way you view it, it probably does more harm than good in my eyes, and you can see that studios take this very seriously, just ask the guy who is now in jail, after leaking the Expendables movie a few weeks in advance ( and yes in know GOTS episodes leaked and no i will not watch them! #spoilerfree ).