Sony Cites Piracy as Reason For Moon's Non-Oscar Campaign


Last week while Hollywood slept, Moon director Duncan Jones expressed his displeasure with Sony over its lack of support for his "little film" in the run up the Oscars. Jones's Twitter barrage sparked a momentary burst of outrage and grass-roots momentum for recognition of Sam Rockwell's extraordinary one-man show as a marooned astronaut, and now, Movieline has learned why the studio put the kibosh to distributing DVD screeners to the Academy -- or its official reasoning, anyway.

A representative for the Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group -- which picked Moon up in spring 2008, handed it off to Oscar war horse Sony Pictures Classics in January 2009, then reclaimed it for home-video release this year -- acknowledged seeing some of Jones's grievances. But, he added, the call to avoid Oscar screeners was a business decision as opposed to any lack of support.

"The DVD and Blu-ray come out on Jan. 12 -- next Tuesday -- and it was felt that to preserve the integrity of the film, we didn't want to send screeners," the rep told me. "We're concerned about piracy. The thing about Moon is that its particular genre is very predisposed toward being uploaded onto the Web. We really just wanted to protect that aspect of it. It's a simple as that. [...] A lot of publicity for Moon is coming out next week. Hopefully that will remind all the consumers, all the readers -- and especially any awards folks -- that this terrific title is out there."

Mission accomplished, I guess. Nevertheless, the only "for your consideration" advertising component of that push -- which requires no screeners at all, and would theoretically aid a film about to be released on DVD -- is coming from outside the studio. And most of that is coming from an angry Jones, who tweeted that he and Sony execs had "knocked heads" over the awards non-strategy in recent weeks before redirecting potential signatories to Moon's petition for a Rockwell Oscar nod. (For the record, the Sony rep said he didn't know what Jones was referring to.)

Tough breaks all around, but again, Oscar snubs are almost better company than Oscar winners. Be encouraged, Mr. Jones, be encouraged.

PREVIOUSLY: Moon Director Tweets Displeasure With Studio's Oscar Non-Campaign


  • mary says:

    Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group = semi-home video group of Sony. Their primary markets are non-theatrical markets, and they make their decisions primarily for non-theatrical markets.
    It is sad.....

  • Ben says:

    "Moon" has been out for a month on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK, thus it is already all over the torrent sites. Makes no sense.

  • unklerupert says:

    Campaign to highlight Sam Rockwell's performance continues with or without Sony.

  • Marq says:

    The cheap cheek of this rep! He basically uses the opportunity to plug the US DVD release and infers that Academy members should go out and buy it. Indeed Unklerupert, we'll just do this without Sony's help...

  • Ben says:

    Screw the Oscars. Neither Sam nor Duncan need them. They're better than that.

  • Kevin says:

    Truly nonsensical. DVD quality copies have been on the net for months already. Maybe the argument is "If people hear about this movie, they will pirate it. Thus, we must keep its existence a secret."

  • Zombie says:

    Ground control to Sony...

  • Nicolas Huff says:

    Makes me want to pirate the film and then send some money directly to Sam Rockwell and Duncan Jones.

  • Capissen says:

    Hey Hollywood, if you're listening: Moon is *already* all over the internet. In DVD quality. It's a spectacular film, but its box office exposure was limited. It wasn't playing anywhere in my area. My having seen it on the internet is the *reason* I will be purchasing a copy when it comes out. STOP TREATING YOUR AUDIENCE LIKE CRIMINALS OR THEY WILL ABANDON YOU.

  • Bob says:

    This is way out there, or minimally late reporting. Moon has been out in HD quality for 3+ weeks.

  • "David Webb" says:

    In other news: Piracy blamed for global warming, economic crisis (plus anything else you can think of).

  • Dan says:

    I e-mailed Sony three times over a period of two months asking them why there was such a limited cinema release of Moon in the UK.
    No response from them whatsoever. Not even the courtesy of a holding reply.
    They appear to have little regard for this movie, its Director or, indeed, their customers.

  • nat says:

    There was a 1080p Blu Ray rip of this online in mid-November. Anyone who wanted to download this film already did, in much higher quality than the screener they could have put out. Sony should check the torrent sites before sinking a movie's Oscar chances.

  • rav says:

    Sony is simply trying to turn a small PR misstep into a win for their ridiculous anti-consumer mandate. Sony is not stupid. If they won an oscar nom for moon it is likely to have a theatrical re-release that would definitely attract a wider audience and more box office $ and their DVD and Blueray sales would also go up. They know this, we know this. They also know that they look like idiots for not getting behind this little film and are attempting to change the topic.

  • Anonymouse says:

    First release was uploaded to Usenet: Sunday October 25th, 2009 09:10:50 PM (73.2 days ago)
    That's 2.5 months for you. Well protected, Sony.
    And yes, this movie was brilliant.

  • dvdchris says:

    That's funny; because Sony sent out screeners to video distributors. I got a screener for Moon.

  • Blue Ray is a really nice format which offers everybidy to get a cinema feeling at home. When the technology will be cheaper in the future it is possible to enjoy the quality. But at the moment it is to expensive to get the necessary television with the right resolution.

  • If they won an oscar nom for moon it is likely to have a theatrical re-release that would definitely attract a wider audience and more box office $ and their DVD and Blue ray sales would also go up.

  • Cheviot Bath says:

    It's been out on DVD over here for nearly 2 months, if people wanted to get it via file sharing, they've been able to do so for a while. Weak excuse.In case you weren't paying attention...the consideration (or "praise" as you put it) is for Sam Rockwell's performance, not the screenplay, direction, production, etc

  • I enjoyed MOON too, but maybe it's time for Duncan Jones to give it up. He's starting to sound a little whiny. It's not as if there aren't a lot of other "little" movies out there that also deserve notice