Monday, February 1, 2010

Counterfeit Movies

I was recently looking on Netflix for new releases and I saw that Sherlock Holmes was already available on DVD. Something didn't look right and upon further examination, I realized it was a different version of Sherlock Holmes that just happened to be releasing to video at the same time the Robert Downey Jr. version is doing well in the theaters. That is more than a coincidence, it is actually a parasite attempt to benefit from the success of a more popular host movie. When it is that blatant I actually classify it as a tapeworm movie.

Counterfeit movies are not uncommon. I remember seeing a video called The Titanic which was a TV movie which came out on video around the same time that Titanic did. Counterfeit movies are a distant cousin to the Rival Movie concept. I don't mind rival movies that copy a similar plot as much since I now keep track of them, but I don't care for the counterfeit ones where they bank on the viewers being confused or just riding on the advertising and hype of another movie. The movie producers must figure that if someone sends their grandma to the video store to get a DVD she may not realize she is not getting the right one. Shame on those movies and shame on people who are so lazy they send their grandma to do their errands!

In 2008 There was a crappy remake of Journey to the Center of the Earth starring Brendan Fraser. Surprisingly there were also two other direct to video movies released at the same time based on the same plot with the exact same title. Coincidence? I think not. Here are some blatant parasite movie titles: Da Vinci Treasure, Transmorphers, Snakes on a Train, and The Day the Earth Stopped. I also noticed that The Haunting of Winchester House came out at the same time as and The Haunting in Connecticut. Both similar horror movies.

It wouldn't surprise me if when Avatar comes out on DVD, you see other videos with the title Avatar in them that are released straight to video at the same time. I guess I can't blame them for wanting to benefit from the advertising. In fact I can kind of relate. I have been thinking of changing the name of this blog to IMDb.


Chaka said...

I was looking at some Red Box releases last month and saw a movie called 2012 Doomsday that just happened to come out on video right after 2012. There was also "Alice" which was an Alice in Wonderland production that just happened to come out the same time Tim Burton's version did.

Tom said...

The worst offender yet, Battle OF Los Angeles is a CGI, animated version of Aliens invading L.A. Not to be confused with Battle: Los Angeles the movie. Both released in 2011.

Tom said...

My kids just pointed out an animated feature they came across called Chop Kick Panda about an overweight Panda who protects the village from an evil Tiger. How do you not get sued for such blatant copying?

Tom said...

Okay, the worst offender yet. The same month Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter comes out, I see a straight to video title at Redbox called Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies. Someone should be ashamed of themselves for such blatant piggy backing.

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