Preview Screenings of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” Canceled in Canada


May 08, 2007

Posted by EdwardTLC

In an effort to crack down on pirated copies of major film releases, Warner Bros. has decided to halt preview screenings in Canada of a number of their summer films including Oceans Thirteen and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Reuters reports, the decision was made after WB became “frustrated with unauthorized camcording of its new releases in Canadian cinemas…” and not wanting more illegal copies distributed, decided that it would cancel any public preview screenings.
After many studios wanting legislation in Canada about film piracy, WB is the first to take action. WB president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said of the decision:

“We regret having to cancel our screenings in Canada, but our studio must take steps to protect not only our branded assets but our commitment to our filmmakers and to our distributors.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be released in theaters July 13.

Thanks to all who mailed and UHP.

56 Responses to Preview Screenings of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” Canceled in Canada

Avatar Image says: Aww, too bad Canada...Avatar Image says: Didn't know we had previews of the films here so it's no skin off my back. I'll see it when I usually do, on opening night.Avatar Image says: Okay, this sucks! But we (And I mean us Canadians) have to look at it like this: Only a handful of people end up getting to see these special previews of the movies anyways. And frankly, the government here sucks when it comes to having proper piracy laws in place. The theatres can only do so much in regards to prevention when they don't have any laws backing them up. I would rather have WB take these kind of cautions (as to not ruin it for the legions of HP fans), then to have some twit post the thing on YouTube and have it ruined for all the people who have been breathlessly waiting for it for forever-and-a-day. Good for you, WB. Maybe this'll get the lawmakers in Ottawa to actually start doing something. Avatar Image says: Good. I know people who get piratd copies of new films several days before their release. They know better now than to ask me if I want to see them. It's theft, plain and simple, and I let them know it. It's too bad a few people spoil it for those who might have gotten to legitimately see an advance screening, but if this is what it takes to stem the pirating practice, so be it. Avatar Image says: This decision makes good business sense for WB, but it will do absolutely nothing to prompt Parliament to draft stronger anti-piracy and copyright protection legislation - which is the much larger issue. The studios need to look into lobbying Parliamentarians if they want to have some effect. As for me, this has no effect. My hometown's movie theatre closed down a couple of weeks ago, so the earliest I'll be able to see the 'OoTP' movie will be when it hits pay-per-view on digital cable. Avatar Image says: But it's dead easy to catch these people or at least encourage cinemas to do something about it. You print an invisible code on the film, which only shows up when you film it (with a camcorder). The copyright people can then trace the code back to the cinema, and the cinema is in big doodoo.Avatar Image says: Sucks for people in Canada, but I think they are doing a good thing in trying to stop things like piracy from happening. If only they found a away to stop it here w/out the pulling of movie screenings. Avatar Image says: I just read an article that says that Canada doesn't crack down on piracy in theaters. I respect a lot of Canada's liberal standpoints but I must say that this is just not fair to Canadians that want to see preview screenings and it's not fair to studios who want to know what people in Canadian markets think about the films. I'm not Canadian but I think that the 30 million people have a right to share their opinions and their opinions are important.Avatar Image says: I live in Canada, and thought this news is disappointing I support the decision to cancel the preview screenings. If they feel that it is an appropriate way to handle film piracy, then it is definitely the right thing to do. However, instead of cancelling it they could just increase security ... I mean, how hard is it to take away someone's camera?Avatar Image says: WB has every right not to hold preview screenings if they don't want to. But the claims that Canada is some sort of hotbed for piracy, or that camera-recordings cause great harm to the movie industry, is simply an invention. See here: By the MPAA's own data, only 10-15% of movies are recorded in theaters, and the quality of those is terrible: VERY few fans want to see them. I'll be in theaters to watch OotP, as will almost everyone else here. Canceling these screenings is totally unnecessary, and while it won't hurt OotP to not have preview screenings, other movies (ones without such a huge built-in fanbase) are a big help in spreading buzz about movies. The movie industry is shooting itself in the foot, and then wants to blame it all on pirates.Avatar Image says: Nice post, Edward! You do a really good job for this site, by the way, especially with crediting other HP sites for your news, which doesn't happen all that often at all...Well, keep up the good work!! =)Avatar Image says: It is too bad that people lack basic decency any more. Stealing is stealing. It is wrong. And people shouldn't encourage these thieves by purchasing their poor quality films. Avatar Image says: I'm happy that WB did this because this means I won't be spoiled by someone who saw the pirated versoin on IMDb about how they handled parts of the movie because they don't always put "Spoiler" in the title of the thread. I've been spoiled this way because of misleading thread titles.Avatar Image says: I commend WB for cracking down on piracy but I just think it's terrible for one person to ruin it for the rest of us. To be frank, no, I was unaware of special screenings. I doubt our theatre even has them but it ruins the whole possibility of ever seeing them. It seems very rare for Canada to the the same privliges and 'treats' as the US and I always know it seem to good to be true. So when we finally get something and we feel equal with the States we have some bone head who pirates the advance screening of the movie and there goes our chance. As for trying to prevent piracy, really.. how hard would it be to bump up security? All in all, hearing about this makes me feel ashamed of our country because pirating is so utterly ridiculous! So a word for the not so wise; please just wait it out like the rest of us... it may be hard, but you'll make it. Don't sink to a theft's level. Avatar Image says: I'm from Canada, and no, ive never been to a private screening, but im happy they took them off (not such a big loss for me)cause that'll teach those thieves :DAvatar Image says: The law in Canada allows a person to copy a film in a cinema for his personnal enjoyment. That is why it is impossible to catch a thief, unless he is stupid enough to admit that he is in fact pirating the movie for a profit. Only in Canada, you say...Avatar Image says: As squibbler pointed out below, the quality of these camcorder pirated copies is awful. Who would ever pay for such an annoying experience? (hand-held shaky frames, people munching popcorn, audience cheering/laughing over the dialog...) No thanks.Avatar Image says: I agree with sqibbler that the monetary effects of piracy seem small in this case. Part of the experience is going with your friends to the theater; who's going to miss that to try and download a shaky flickering amateur camcorder copy of a film on the internet, unless they absolutely can't afford to go to the movies anyway... in which case WB isn't gettting money from them anyway.Avatar Image says: That's right! Canada should change its laws so that people won't go to preview screenings to make pirated videos. If you're making illegal copies you should have to wait to make them when EVERYONE can see the movie. I'm sorry, this is such PR garbage. Canada DOES have piracy laws, they're just not as strict as the US. Not knowing the ins and outs of those laws, I (and most people here I would imagine) shouldn't comment to strongly. However, an article I read recently basically said we're not doing such a bad job. What it comes down to is that its the Movie Theatres' onus to police the cinemas, not the government's. The argument that some have made that posting the movie on YouTube spoils it for fans is also kinda silly. If you're the kinda fan who will be spoiled by seeing the film on YouTube--why would you seek it out on YouTube.Avatar Image says: OooOoh WB, Bloomsbury, and the whole Potter community is cracking down on security! If only the Ministry for Magic would do that....Avatar Image says: hey, when are revised cuts of ootp showing in the u.s.? i'd very much like to hear a new review!Avatar Image says: Is "camcording" a word? It sounds like one of those words you make up when you can't think of a better one. :)Avatar Image says: goodAvatar Image says: Whatever. Anything to increase RIAA/ MPAA control to no end. Stop treating your consumers like criminals WB.Avatar Image says: I'm from Quebec,Canada, and I agree that they should increase the laws about piracy, but the people who downloads and buy those pirates versions of movie are as guilty as the ones who tapped it... I know a lot of people at my job who download movies and it makes me mad everytime they talk about it... Avatar Image says: I dont know what people are talking about, but it is illegal to make copies of a movie you dont own in Canada. We do have anti-piracy laws, the only difference is we are allowed to make copies of movies that we actually DO own, which is different than some countries. We have the right to protect our property in the charter, meaning we can make backups, copies, etc of any data we have the end user rights to. We CAN NOT legally make recordings of movies we DO NOT own, which obviously includes movies in a theatre. This just sounds like a cop-out to me. WB is just attempting to save some money, since viewer trends in Canada are pretty much exactly the same as US. Why would they waste money bringing the screener here.Avatar Image says: oh damn, my plans of hanging around random theaters all spring in the chance that i may get into a test screening have been foiled... really who actually gets lucky enough to see these things? no biggy, not sure why they think video taping is worse here than anywhere else. i went to a test screening of anchoreman and they checked all our bags for video devices, it's not like its condoned or anything.Avatar Image says: Yes hmmmmm... We actually have to own the item we're copying and we can't distribute copies, even if we don't charge anyone for them. I should probably take my own advice and shut-up 'cause its a complex issue. That's why WB trying to make this complex issue seem so simple bothers me so much. Avatar Image says: Why are they picking on us? I don't know any real details on this but there are plenty of foreign language subtitled pirated videos out there. I am not too upset, I am too far from a major center to get to see one anyway, I will have to drive an hour to get to a city with a theatre just to see the movie on opening night. I would probably have a 50 hour bus ride to get to the city where they would actually show the preview.Avatar Image says: All hail to the cry of the rich trying to get richer! first off, who cares that they dont show screenings here, i'll get my hands on the pirated version from another country lol!!!! you see, theres this thing called the internet, and theres no controlling that lol.... Entertainment industries talk too much. They already paddle through the billions that they make, and yet they whine about how they cant make more b/c people pirate their bloody movies! oh dear, i say human rights violations! secondly, being a pirated version the quality is often very low so i would like to know the intelligent soul who enjoys sitting through 2+ hours of blurry, fuzzy, images that often leave out the experience of the movie itself. all this piracy garbage is annoying me. GET OVER IT, once u give out a product its no longer really yours. would MJM recharge u for ur sofa every time a guest sits on it, or ask for its share when u want to sell the sofa? or perhaps Toshiba spies on u to make sure u dont sell ur TV to other people, in which case they will lose potential buyers. come on.... those that boast about globalization and sharing international markets ought to embrace ALL side effects not just what benefits them.Avatar Image says: Yeah, this is going to do absolutely nothing to curb piracy, and Warner/MPAA knows it. It's just an attempt to scare the Canadian government into bringing about our own version of the DMCA. Avatar Image says: I don't like watching pirated films anyway. They're not as good as watching them on the big screen or on DVD. Avatar Image says: Here's the thing: Film piracy isn't just about illegally copying and selling a bunch of moody DVDs. This type of piracy makes huge amounts of money and in some cases finances other forms of organised crime. A couple of years ago in the UK the police traced where the money from pirated DVDs was going to - they found a whole network of crime linked to it. It's not as harmless as people think. Possibly people most annoyed about prevention of piracy are either those directly involved in it, or those who regularly buy bootlegged gear.Avatar Image says: New photo of Daniel Radcliffe in December Boys. See the Beatiful photo in the site: Image says: Possibly people most annoyed about prevention of piracy are either those directly involved in it, or those who regularly buy bootlegged gear. Posted by S.Benj on May 9, 2007 at 7:00 AM ******* I take real issue with that remark especially because it is very untrue. In the United States the RIAA/MPAA are unfairly using their monopoly and tons of cash to beat up on every day citizens. They don't file criminal lawsuits, they file CIVIL lawsuits and they sue for huge amounts knowing that most people don't have the money to fight back, will panic on getting a letter from a lawyer and just pay up whether they are guilty or not. RIAA/MPAA lawyers send out "cease and desist" letters based on IP addresses or other flimsy information like a file with a similar name. For example:I send a file to someone called Dye Hard about dying hard cooked eggs and they think I'm downloading Die Hard 4 and suddenly I'm accused of a "crime". It has been proven that the RIAA/MPAA don't make ANY effort to make sure that "crime" has been committed - they just send out letters and hope they people won't fight back. But judges are starting to catch on to this since they insist on suing 7 year old girls and all colleges in general - and they are making them prove that actual downloads have taken place. More and more of their cases are being dismissed because they either have no proof or they were just plain WRONG to begin with. The cost of a DVD ($15 - $29 USD)+ any nominal fines or penalties as allowed by law should be all the RIAA/MPAA should be allowed to collect in damages. Yet from one individual, they are able to claim $10,000 in damages + court costs + lawyer fees . This is tantamount to using our civil court system as a shylock - Pay up or we will strong arm you into giving us cash guilty or no. The RIAA/MPAA keep whining that they are losing money due to piracy but they can't claim loss for what they never had. If I don't buy a DVD have they lost a sale due to piracy or because of their own shoddy business practices? There are many people like me who DO NOT download but refuse to buy their products for many reasons. Usually with CD's people are tired of getting 1 or 2 good tracks and the rest of an album that's garbage. And with movies, the unskippable track and them feeling like they can disable settings on my DVD player with their code is enough to make me very wary of the DVD's I buy and to buy them sparingly. Why should I have to sit through a warning that copying and downloading is illegal for a DVD that I legally purchased or rented? Why should I not be able to fast foward through the warnings and even their ads. I paid for this DVD. I have to pay even more by watching their commercials? Advertising = dollars and they would force you to watch every single one if they could. The RIAA/ MPAA is very guilty of treating their customers like criminals and of spreading the propaganda that piracy is a crime - it is not. If they want us to buy their DVD's and CD's then they should get with the current business models and find a way to move forward instead of locking people into their old fashioned ways and using their money to bribe our lawmakers to do things their way or else. And our lawmakers are guilty of caving in to big business at the expense of the people they are supposed to be looking out for. The law is supposed to protect us from big business, not shylock for them.Avatar Image says: This new makes me so angry! It's completely ridiculous. Very few people would prefer to watch a low quality version of a movie, with bad sound and picture quality, just to save a $10 to go to the cinema. Camcording is inconsequential when you compare it to the money WB is making with the Canadian market. The real piracy problem comes with the copying of DVD and camcording is only a tiny part of piracy. Yeah, of course piracy is wrong, but seriously, there are much more important problems for the Canadian government and the rest of the World than this camcording thing. I really don't think that the Canadian governement will lose his time listening to those ridiculous whinning about camcording. The only effect of this, is WB harming his own image. Just what it deserves!Avatar Image says: There has not been a scene release of Order of the Phoenix and I doubt you would ever see one that was sourced from a Candian/American screening. Most of the "camcorder" copies of films that find wide circulation are sourced from Russian/Eastern European sources with direct audio from American theaters. The better scene group releases are quite good, on par in some cases with vhs tapes recordings. That being said there is not a significant amount of people who are watching movies this way, certainly not as many as the MPAA would have you believe. Also there is not a vibrant market for physically pirated media in the United States; in china and east Asia the problem is much more pervasive and in those cases can constitute a significant loss to the entertainment industry.Avatar Image says: A RCMP officer interviewed on the CBC said that perfect pirated copies what find their way on the black market originate from within the studios themselves and not from cinemas. But that, the majors do not like to acknowledge. What a bunch of silly and dishonest people.Avatar Image says: Thanks to all the folks who speak with more knowledge than I have on this decision fro W.B. for twisting the arms of us Canadians. Its always dump on the Canucks from our southern neighbors it seems with one thing or the other. As many have said, how often do we get a film preview here? Was the last Lord of the Rings? Take heart folks, we do have our own INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN Toronto every September. Warner Brothers I think is never in the line up. What a money spinner it is too. I volunteer over ten days, and believe me I have done several shifts over the ten days which include piracy watch. No luck yet. Thank you for your support for us picked upon Canucks. Warner Brothers middle name wouldn't be Dudely or Draco Crabbe or Goyle would it. From Befuddled Muddlefig. Avatar Image says: Does this make anyone think of the song from the South Park movie, "Blame Canada?" I honestly don't care if we (Canadians) get a preview of the movie or not; it would really only be available to a small number of people. However, if WB is hoping that individuals in Canada will become so outraged that previews are not being shown here that we will run to our MPs and demand the same anti-piracy laws as the US, they are going to be disappointed. We are a distinct coutnry and will make and enforce our own laws as we see fit. If to maintain our autonomy we must accept the fact that a small handful of people will miss out on some previews, then so be it. Remember, we are much smaller (by population) than the US, and it can be hard to maintain a sense of cultural autonomy; this is an issue that some Canadians are quite sensitive about. Speaking as just one Canadian, I am more likely to get my back up and feel bullied, than I am to be sympathetic to WB's plight. If a lot of Canadians share my gut reaction to this tactic, then WB is more likely to have people boycotting their films rather than lobbying on their behalf to change piracy laws. If they are really serious about preventing piracy, they should pursue different ways of tracking and enforcing; I'm sure some methods already exist (and have been mentioned in other posts) and could be developed. And by the way, I would NEVER buy a pirated copy of a movie, and don't even copy movies I own.Avatar Image says: chrissietag, I think you are supposing too many things. They don't do this so your country will change the laws, they do this because they don't want people to record pirated copies of their movies, and the safest way is to stop doing previews of their movies where it happens more, no matter what country is it. It's not something against people from Canada, it's something against piracy. Today is this country, tomorrow it can be a different one. You talk about autonomy, which in my opinion is not related with this at all. They have a bussiness and they just don't like anyone to steal to them. I don't know what your laws are, but I wouldn't want stealing to be a sign of the autonomy of my country, which I'm not saying it is, but that's what it can be one day with comments like that one. :SAvatar Image says: THAT SUCKS! I love advance screenings! I remember the radio station was giving out GoF screening tickets to whoever phone in for a full hour, and I got in ONE MINUTE after the hour ended and all the tickets were out....I almost cried. At least I wont have to be jealous of anyone!Avatar Image says: Makes sense to me if the Canadian theaters were not secure. I went to a preview for POA in Tucson, AZ and they searched our purses and everything for anything that would record or take pictures. If you had a cell phone that took photos then you gave it to them and got a slip to get it back when the film was over (I didn't have one that took pictures at that time but would have been happy to give it to them). Several people had those kinds of phones but not one person complained. They just said here and took their claim slip. A friend of mine who goes to a lot of concerts said that she always leaves her phone in the car because the security will do the same at the concert. I don't understand why people have to steal stuff but better safe than sorry I say. I feel sorry for the Canadians though but hey at least you still get the film on opening day. Avatar Image says: As an outside observer (UK) I do find it a bit odd that Canada is being singled out in this way. I would NEVER have imagined that pirated movies come from Canada! I always thought China or Hong Kong. My mind also boggles at the thought of someone in a cinema holding a camcorder up secretly(!!) for 2.5 hours! Do they really do that??? If so, why don't they just search people and confiscate recording equipment on the way in? I also agree with someone earlier about the really annoying anti-piracy adverts that appear (horribly loudly) at the start of legally bought dvds! Avatar Image says: Look I AM CANADIAN AND I AM FED UP WITH THOSE PRODUCERS!!!!!!! LOOK PAL DON'T JUST SAY TO BAD EVEN THOUGH CANADIANS ACTED STUPID DOSN'T MEAN WE AIN't GOT FEELINGS!!!! OK!Avatar Image says: absolutely unfair! Avatar Image says: I was in such a great mood until I read this. I'm pretty sure they do it other palces too but just ake it out on Canada? I'm Canadian and I was so depressed after this news. completely and totally UNFAIR!Avatar Image says: Why Canada? Why, WB? I HATE YOU... Okay, maybe not. But why is it always us Canucks who get picked on? :PAvatar Image says: I live in Ottawa, Ontario (National Capital of Canada for those of you who don't know). I once won tickets to a movie preview through a radio contest and when we got to the theatre they checked us with one of those metal detectors and verified all bags and purses. Anybody with a cell phone or anything electronic and stuff had to check it at the door and get it back at the end of the movie. I don't understand how somebody can actually smuggle something in unless checks are not as good in other theatres compared to the one I went to. Those pirated films look bad anyway so what's the use of seeing the movie a couple of weeks in advance just to see it "shabby" anyway. And why single out Canada as being a major pirating place? Where's the proof anyway?Avatar Image says: I am a Canadian, but also Indian and I watch a lot of Bollywood movies and you can walk into almost any movie store and get Bollywood films that are not out yet. I know a lot of people that do it and sell it and I have taken a stand and promised that I would never watch one of those movies, even with Hollywood movies (no matter how much I want to see the movie). I think this gives Potter fans in Canada the change to stand up and say something and IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE because the government is going to have to listen and make some changes. Avatar Image says: fgashfs hfuksha uifhsui hfuis ahsufh aiufh asuihfsuiafAvatar Image says: Hello, I can't understand how to add your blog ( ) in my rss reader

Write a Reply or Comment

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.