Warner Bros. didn't want to lose one penny off of the precious early box office gross for The Dark Knight (one that traditionally favors Hollywood in the split over movie theaters), so they reportedly spent 6 months developing an anti-piracy plan to keep the film off filesharing sites for as long as possible. And through a highly regimented flow of tracking and distribution that included staggering reel delivery to individual theaters (so that no one had the entire film for too long), Warner Bros. was able to delay online piracy for a whole 38 hours. Their president of distribution explains why this was considered a success:
One of the reasons why it's so important to try to protect the first weekend is that it prevents the pirate supply chain from starting. A day or two becomes really, really significant. You've delayed disc manufacturing that then delays distribution, which then delays those discs from ending up on street corners for sale.
But while Warner Bros. is high fiving that they defeated the internet, maybe the executives should learn a different lesson about creating $158.4 million weekend openings-namely by making good movies and tailoring them for the big screen experience. [LATimes]