“Doctor Strange streaming” and “Doctor Strange download” are two very popular searches right now. While most of us in the United States plan to wait until November 4 to see Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character on the big screen, there are already pirated copies appearing on Internet torrent sites. It’s impossible to believe this kind of thing isn’t affecting box office numbers for Marvel movies.
Doctor Strange in Comics and Film
As noted by CBS News, the character of Doctor Strange is very different from any Marvel movie superheroes we’ve seen before. With Iron Man, Captain America, and Spider-Man, there was always some illusion of science behind the outrageous powers and abilities of the Marvel characters, at least in the movies. Even the Asgardian God of Thunder Thor was explained away as a kind of alien.
As an aside, those hoping to see some of the Netflix Marvel characters pop up in this or any other Marvel film are likely to be disappointed. Marvel doesn’t want to cross the streams, even if they are technically in the same universe.
But with Doctor Strange, rational science and cause-and-effect give way to streaming consciousness and psychedelic trips through alternate dimensions and planes of existence. It’s all magic instead of science, and essentially what you would get if Salvador Dali made a superhero film. This made the movie a bit of a gamble, even without the problem of people turning to Doctor Strange streaming and download sources, thereby cutting into the box office numbers.
The Premier of Doctor Strange
Streaming or downloading of films like Doctor Strange while they’re still in a theater is only made possible by people using hidden, or not so hidden, cams and uploading the results. In this case, someone must have done that fairly quickly for Doctor Strange, since a poor quality bootleg copy is already up before the movie is even available to the general public here.
It’s likely that one of the foreign releases is the source. Most audiences for exclusive early premieres in the United States refrain from doing this kind of thing. Of course, once the general audience here sees it, it’s open season.
Doctor Strange Streaming Impact
According to researchers on the subject, the average film loses anywhere from three to five percent of its overall revenues to illegal streaming and downloads of pirated copies. For a movie like Doctor Strange, that could take in as much as $1 billion but should at least make $500 million. This means a loss of anywhere from $15 million to $50 million.
$50 million is about what it cost to make the highly profitable breakout hit Deadpool, which means that studios can be losing the price of an entire movie every time they premiere a new one in theaters. Unfortunately for major film studios like Marvel and its parent company Disney, this situation has largely become par for the course.
The illegal streaming and downloading of films is something the industry has fought now for many years, but with virtually no significant successes along the way. Going after the people doing the illegal streaming and downloading of films like Doctor Strange may be satisfying for the movie industry, but it hasn’t proven particularly effective.
The other anti-piracy tactic that movie studios like Marvel have sometimes used to protect big tent properties like Doctor Strange is to try to shut down the torrent sites providing the streaming or direct downloads. But this approach presents problems for the film industry as well.
Industry Defeat with Doctor Strange
Streaming and torrent sites like Pirate Bay or Kickass Torrents are frequently shut down by the movie industry, but they quickly reappear somewhere else under a different domain. Worse, even if these particular sites don’t reappear, there’s always someone ready to take their place. The revenue these sites get from ads is lucrative and their production costs for their product, given that they steal it, is zero. It’s difficult to discourage that kind of money making scheme. That’s why searches like “Doctor Strange streaming” aren’t going to go away anytime soon.
[Featured Image by Marvel Studios]