Why John Wick : Chapter Two doesn’t hit Australia theaters this week

Unless it’s one with the word “Lego” in it’s title, Australia generally gets a film release fairly close to the U.S – at most, there’s sometimes a two to three week lag. The local distributors know they’ve got to give local audiences an in sync release – otherwise everyone loses; the distributor ends up losing a paying customer to a Torrent site, and a customer ends up having to endure someone’s dancing head in front of a theater screen on a greasy iPhone window. Thing is, folks are keen to see a movie now – when it’s out elsewhere – not wait a couple of months, at which time the novelty of said film would have dipped and their interest diverted elsewhere. But the distributor also needs to know how many folks are going to want to see a movie if they book it.

One of the big releases being promoted, particularly on the internet, this month is “John Wick : Chapter Two”. A sequel to the Keanu Reeves starring surprise hit from a year or so back, the film kicks off in US theaters this weekend, going head-to-head with gonna-make-money-makers like “Fifty Shades Darker”.

You won’t be able to see it in Australia yet. And probably won’t be able to see it for a while.

There’s been a bit of brouhaha online this week from locals who seem convinced the distributor are going to send the film direct-to-DVD (or VOD, as it would be) in Australia. I’m here to confirm that that probably won’t be the case.

eOne has the theatrical rights to the film but are simply waiting to see how the film does in the united states this weekend before dating it. The better it does, the more theaters will book it downunder.

You can’t blame eOne for holding off on “John Wick : Chapter Two” for the moment – it is, after all, awards season and the theaters and full up on films like “La La Land”, “Moonlight”, “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea”, let alone a lot of hold-over Christmas blockbusters like “Rogue One” and “Moana”. Unless something’s ‘definitely’ going to make money, exhibitors aren’t going to want to push something aside for it.  They’re in the business of making money. You’d make the same decision in the same role.

Bottom line, it’s unlikely that such a high-profile sequel will go straight-to-disc in Australia. You might just have to wait a month or so. Surely we can hold out for a Keanu Reeves film, right?

To Top