‘Godzilla Minus One’ Breaks New (But Awkward) Record – For Piracy

War ain't over
Koichi (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is stuck in unending war in Godzilla Minus One (2023), Toho Co. Ltd.

Godzilla Minus One is earning every honor imaginable, including an Oscar for its stellar yet thrifty visual effects. It’s also a blockbuster that’s done better globally than any attempt by Toho to take the nuclear dinosaur worldwide since the original.

Godzilla approaches a Japanese vessel in Godzilla Minus One (2023), Toho Co., Ltd
Godzilla approaches a Japanese vessel in Godzilla Minus One (2023), Toho Co., Ltd

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And now, or (rather) in the past few weeks, the film has secured another record that some viewers might be okay with, but that Toho would find very inconvenient. 

According to an archived article from the site Torrent Freak, Minus One is the top title pirated online followed by Dune: Part Two and Arcadian. The Idea of You and Monkey Man round out the top five in case you were curious.

Each of these films is releasing digitally or is poised to in certain markets. Godzilla, however, has left everyone wondering for months when it would rise from the depths for a streaming debut.

The film has landed on Amazon Prime in some parts of the world, though not everywhere, so pirates have taken it upon themselves to fill that vacuum. Meanwhile, most of us wait patiently in North America as a home video release is still way off.

GodzillaMinus02
Ryunosuke Kamiki as Koichi Shikishima in Godzilla Minus One. Image property of Toho.

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One reason for the delay is the cushy contract Toho signed with Legendary Entertainment (cushy for them, especially) to license their character, according to Forbes and Indie Wire

Per the agreed stipulations, two Godzillas can’t occupy the same space simultaneously – as in, no back-to-back movies in the same year.

Godzilla takes notice of an approaching fighter plane in Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color (2024), Toho
Godzilla takes notice of an approaching fighter plane in Godzilla Minus One/Minus Color (2024), Toho

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You can try to call ‘balderdash’ when Minus One and Godzilla x Kong were released within months of each other, but they still came out in different calendar years; with the former worming in under the wire just in time for award season.

Despite the accolades they’ve received, Toho can’t be too happy about the torrenting of their film. As kaiju content creators know, they get bent out of shape when the wrong frame from one of their movies is used in a review, and they flag it for a copyright violation.

Noriko Ōishi (Minami Hamabe) is in awe as Godzilla surfaces in Godzilla Minus One (2023), Toho
Noriko Ōishi (Minami Hamabe) is in awe as Godzilla surfaces in Godzilla Minus One (2023), Toho

They ignore the toil of fans promoting their work with their own time and energy but are territorial when it comes to the tiniest fragment of footage for whatever reason. It doesn’t – and can’t – always come down to money.

In the case of piracy, however, it would have to, and Toho should be frugal as they have every right to expect remuneration for their output. That’s only good business sense and cinema is a business. What would also make sense is transparency with their customers.

Tokyo in flames again
The military engages Godzilla in Godzilla Minus One (2023), Toho Co. Ltd.

Toho could clarify why there is a holdup with Godzilla Minus One’s home video release in the US and elsewhere in a statement or comment by someone in the company. They haven’t yet so the pirating will continue.

NEXT: ‘Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire’ Director Adam Wingard Names His Favorite Movie In The Long-Running Toho Franchise

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