Shaolin Soccer

Shaolin Soccer, Stephen Chow

Shaolin Soccer is one of the most popular movies being traded on peer-to-peer networks, ranking right up there with Pirates of the Caribbean and The Matrix Reloaded. And yet, it still hasn’t come out in North American theatres, with Miramax editing (and re-editing) the film and constantly pushing back the release date.

Obviously, people want to see the film, as the excessive download traffic shows. And obviously, people aren’t relying on Miramax to give it to them. So why doesn’t Miramax(e) do something to capitalize on that interest, rather than sit on a film that was supposed to have come out last year? It makes me wonder what will happen with Miramax’ other hot properties, such as Hero and Zatoichi.

These are hot properties with a guaranteed audience. Miramax wouldn’t even have to do that much marketing, compared to your ​“normal” film release. They could rely on word-of-mouth, because if there’s one thing about us Asian film nuts, it’s that we’re very vocal about our films of choice. (And when we get pissed off by some company slicing and dicing up our favorite films, we’re even more vocal.) What’s more, Miramax has already spent the money to acquire these films, and the longer they sit in the storehouse collecting dust, the longer that money will continue to go to waste.

It just boggles the mind.