Entertainment

Crushed by Spider-Man, Matrix Resurrections is a hit with pirates


The mixed results can be explained by the competition with the Marvel superhero, but also by its posting on VOD or on illegal sites.

Hackers. Matrix Resurrections , the fourth installment of the adventures of Neo and his band of futuristic hackers has not created a phenomenon in dark rooms. Released last week, Warner’s blockbuster grossed over $ 22.5 million at the US box office, and $ 66.7 million worldwide. Honorable figures, but disappointing compared to the 32.2 million domestic Godzilla vs. Kong , which had revived the Warner machine in the spring. And a Lilliputian performance, compared to the colossal success of Spider-Man: No Way Home and its $ 253 million pocketed when it started. A disappointment, partly attributable to the digital release of the film.

In line with the course set by Warner last year, Matrix Resurrections benefited from a simultaneous theatrical and SVOD release, on the HBO Max platform owned by the American company. On this service, available almost exclusively on the American continent, Lana Wachowski’s dystopian feature film would have been viewed by 2.8 million connected households, according to the audience reported by the specialized site Deadline. Or almost half less than Red Notice , which to date holds the record for the best start of a feature film on a digital platform, with 4.2 million households connected to Netflix at the end of its opening weekend. Figures with multiple blind spots, since they do not systematically take into account other distribution media (smartphones, computers) and ignore the illegal audience of the film.

Warner pointed at

The pirating of Warner films was the common thread of 2021. Like the other films of the company released since the beginning of the year – The Suicide Squad , Reminiscence or Dune -, the feature films offered on HBO Max were shared from the day of their release, in very high quality, on communities and online pirating networks. This accessibility has a real impact on the performance of films in theaters, even if it remains difficult to quantify with precision. According to the specialist company Muso, cited by Deadline, Matrix Resurrections would thus have represented 32.6% of the most shared files in the week of December 20 to 26. In France, the film has only received a theatrical release, as HBO Max is not yet available in the country.

Disappointing, the performance of Matrix Resurrections also suffers from the comparison with the success in theaters of the previous parts of the saga. The best start of the historical trilogy, Matrix Reloaded, had thus brought in 134.2 million for its opening weekend, in 2003, that is to say around 202 million current dollars. Several directors under contract with the company had expressed very strong reservations towards Warner as soon as the announcement in December 2020 of the simultaneous release system. “They don’t even understand what they’re losing. Their decision makes no economic sense ”, was thus carried away Christopher Nolan in the pages of the specialized magazine The Hollywood Reporter . Alongside the director of Dune, Denis Villeneuve, Lana Wachowski had thus asked Warner to arrange an exclusive release slot for his film in theaters. In vain.

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