Rumor: Production not returning to Morocco this year
By Winter Is Coming on in Filming, Rumors.

Morocco was added as a fourth shooting location last season, joining Northern Ireland, Croatia and Iceland. The North African country was used to film all of the exterior Daenerys scenes from season 3, standing-in for the cities of Astapor and Yunkai. The four countries used last season (five, if you count the small scene they shot here in the US with Bart the Bear) stood as a record for a TV production.

However, it looks like the production is scaling back a bit this year, to a measly three countries. Our sources have indicated that, at this time, the production has no plans to return to Morocco for season 4. This is corroborated by reports that they are filming Dany scenes in Croatia this year, most likely in and around the city of Split.

Winter Is Coming: While filming in four countries was cool, it probably made life quite difficult on the cast and crew. Downsizing a bit was a wise move. Despite that, David and Dan have still said that this season will be the toughest to shoot yet.


93 Comments

  1. Dave
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Stannis

  2. M
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Psh. JUST 3 countries? Slackers.

  3. Darquemode
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Guess that strengthens the case made by some that Split could be Meereen locations.

    I can see Klis Fortress being Meereen easily enough with some VFX magic. I wonder if the cellars under the city will replace the sewers then? Interesting.

  4. Selmy
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This crossed my mind when reading how many actors are in Iceland this year. Personally I think this is a wise move as it should reduce travel expenditure which means more budget for battles and CGI and action!!!

  5. Zakart
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Maybe saving money for bigger scenes ?

  6. The Dragon Demands
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Actually, my suspicion was that they’d leave Morocco due to growing political instability in North Africa related to the Arab Spring.

    I mean, there was that whole incident where an oil rig in Algeria was taken over by terrorists in a hostage crisis.

    That being said, once the action shifts to Meereen, they only really need a single city to film in….but I thought Split would be Braavos?

  7. OhDanyBoy
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands,

    No way we see Braavos in S4. S4 will probably end with Arya getting on the boat.

  8. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    This makes sense. Given how much they’re filming in Iceland looks like they’re trying to shift the location work to cut the budget there and spend on actors/VFX where needed/big battles et al. If things proceed as thought Split might be used for next 2 seasons for the most part…

  9. Boojam
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands:
    Actually, my suspicion was that they’d leave Morocco due to growing political instability in North Africa related to the Arab Spring.

    I mean, there was that whole incident where an oil rig in Algeria was taken over by terrorists in a hostage crisis.

    Yes I had wondered about that last year.

    Don’t I remember that they only had three shooting locations in season 2?
    With all the Essos stuff being done in Croatia ?

  10. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands,

    Morocco is probably the most stable of the Northern African countries, even during these crazy days. I don’t think their decision had anything to do with politics, but with the logistics of shooting in 4 different countries separated by thousands of kilometers.

  11. OtherAndrew
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Emilia told the NY Times in her Emmy interview that she starts shooting again in September, so, the timeline lines up here.

  12. Echoes in a well
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Not sure if someone posted this at some point somewhere but here’s a little teaser from GRRM on whether the characters that are still alive in the books but have been killed off on the show have a part to play in the future books. (source – responding to a comment on his not a blog):

    Not at all. If they are alive in the books, they are alive in the books, and may well turn up again. Irri (and Jhiqui) is still serving as Dany’s handmaid, Rakharo remains one of her bloodriders, Mago will definitely show up again. You will learn the fate of Pyat Pree in WINDS. The Thirteen are still one of the factions contending for power in Qarth. You may see more of Alayaya and Chataya as well, and you will definitely hear more of Jeyne Westerling.

  13. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Echoes in a well,

    “When I publish it on January 30, 2018,” he did not add.

  14. Echoes in a well
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Morgue’s soft bat,

    Probably time to sit a few plays out and look up the definition of sarcasm.

  15. Morgue's soft bat
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Echoes in a well,

    Why dont you let him do the explaining? Its his own words… i dont need to do anything.

  16. tysnow
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands,

    I agree with DD, with the Northern Mali radicals just a few hundred miles away and the Arab spring ongoing, cast and crew of a famous Western tv series would be a very tempting target for kidnappings and/or murder (of course to them it’s allowed and honorable to kill infidels).

  17. tysnow
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    Morocco is stable and very pro-west, Morocco was one of the first nations to recognize the United States. It’s not Moroccan’s you need to worry about it’s N. Mali radicals and Al-Qaida just a few hundreds miles away.

  18. Joshua Taylor
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Morocco was doffed so they can avoid hiring native Moroccan extras for Meereen this time around? That way they can obtain more ethnically diverse extras to avoid the racism card.

  19. Mochni Ormag
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Virtus,
    Few days ago(july 16),there was casting for extras in Split and my friend found out from guy from production that they will shooting Yunkai and Meereen scenes in this area.

  20. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Hopefully this puts an end to the speculation that Meereen would be cut and replaced by Yunkai.

  21. Darquemode
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Mochni Ormag,

    Nice!
    It’s always good to have confirmation from sources on the scene.
    Now if your friend can get some info on new roles cast and actors on the scene! XD

  22. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Enough with the name-calling and personal attacks, people. Posts of that nature are not permitted here.

  23. Arkash
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Being half Morrocan this is a little disapointing but well…

  24. Cary Storm
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Meereen!!!

  25. Darquemode
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Ya.
    That was always silly one to me!

    I love theorizing and speculation, but I don’t get some of the unneeded changes some people come up with. Even if I’m well aware there will be more changes from this point forward, I still think some proposed changes accomplish no more (possibly less) than the original stories and would just be more work to create new arcs for no reason.

  26. Darquemode
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Arkash,

    There’s always hope of returning there next year!
    They will need a location for Dorne and Morocco could fit the bill…

    Guess we need to wait and see the reasoning behind their decision to not film in Morocco this year.

  27. Echoes in a well
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I wouldn’t be so certain about that. I could totally see them recasting Meereen with a younger city.

  28. Darquemode
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic:
    I just read Lars Mikkelsen was cast as Charles Augustus Magnussen, the new villain for Sherlock Season 3. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BQV4-egCcAA8XcZ.jpg:large

    So much for my once hopeful delusion of Mads Mikkelsen for Euron and Lars Mikkelsen for Victarion! XD

    I moved on from it long ago, but the final death nail is a bit of a sad blow.

  29. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    The Sherlock thing is likely just for one episode or one season (they have very short seasons), and they’re shooting right now. I don’t think we’re going to see Victarion and Euron until season 5 at this rate. So I don’t think Lars Mikkelsen is completely out of the running for a Greyjoy.

  30. Mormegil
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Sherlock Series 3 is already 2/3rds filmed and it’s unlikely any villain in it would carry over to a future series (which probably won’t go into production for 18 months or more anyway) so an actor being in that is not going to prevent them appearing in Season 5 of GoT.

  31. Sara
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think is because of arab spring. Morocco is a known country for shooting location many productions and films. and as some people said before, Morocco is stable country and receives a lot of tourists. Morocco is not a dangerous place, not that locations.

    I think they want to save money, I mean, they have to shoot the 9 episode. also the season 5 will be expensive, with all new characters and new locations.

  32. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Agreed re Morocco not being all that dangerous than it ever has been. Arab Spring has affected many countries, but to lump them all together doesn’t make sense.

  33. Cali
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands,

    Morocco is a safe country and has none of Algeria’s problems. Whatever reasons they had to leave, safety wasn’t one of them.

  34. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Well if they’re going to scale back one storyline it makes sense to scale back Dany’s. I imagine much of her season will will be about her interactions with Jorah, Barristan, Daario and Grey Worm, with a single semi-major set piece at the end involving Meereen. Hopefully Barristan will have a duel along the way too.

    But at any rate, more time and effort needs to be focused towards the Wall and the King’s Landing storylines this season and I’m sure that’s what they’ll do.

  35. vlad
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Weird. Sure they can film in Croatia, but it looks nothing like Morocco…. maybe most of Dany’s story will be indoors??

  36. Sunny
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Lol Morocco is safer than most major American cities.

  37. Boojam
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    vlad:
    Weird. Sure they can film in Croatia, but it looks nothing like Morocco…. maybe most of Dany’s story will be indoors??

    As far as I remember they shot the Red Wastes scenes in Croatia season 2 , never went to Morocco for exteriors. Used Malta in season 1.
    I think it’s as someone stated a matter of logistics they have an action heavy season small but intense vista action and big, very big, vista action.
    Lord knows how they figure out the schedule right now!

  38. ItShouldBeDenaera
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Braavos is definitely going to be shot in Venice. I always thought that half the reason they picked Croatia was that it’s so close to the best conceivable location for a major storyline of the show–you can actually see Venice from Northern Croatia on a clear day. Also, there’s the matter of Venetian history (apart from the slavery aspect), culture, and commerce being the whole inspiration for Braavos.

    Also, Moqorro’s speech in front of the Volantene Temple of R’hllor would be awesome in the Piazza San Marco, assuming that storyline survives the Feast/Dance adaption bloodbath, and the harbor of Oldtown would totally work in Venice. Then again, the dreamer in me really hopes they go to Belgium and use Bruges for Oldtown. That makes no commercial or production sense whatsoever, but it would look perfect, and a man can dream, can’t he?

  39. mariamb
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Judging by the photos on the WiC Tumblr account, it seems as if most everyone is filming in Iceland.

    Has there been any filming in Belfast yet?

  40. xavier
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi, I noticed that the vfx production is being shifted from Pixomondo to Spin VFX and other cheaper and minor FX companies. Anyone knows about this? I hope this not affects the quality of the visual effects in season 4!!!!

  41. Ours is the Fury
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    Yes. Mark Gatiss, for instance, filmed his role already entirely, and that was done in Belfast.

  42. jentario
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    mariamb,

    Yes. Mark Gatiss, for instance, filmed his role already entirely, and that was done in Belfast.

    So obviously Bloodraven. He would only really need one scene this season. Tahen again, Patchface would work (if they ever intend to cast him).

  43. adense
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    xavier:
    Hi, I noticed that the vfx production is being shifted from Pixomondo to Spin VFX and other cheaper and minor FX companies. Anyone knows about this? I hope this not affects the quality of the visual effects in season 4!!!!

    Where did you see this?
    I certainly hope it won’t affect the CGI quality. Pixomono did that really well.

  44. New Wolf
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    ItShouldBeDenaera,

    Venice is too expensive. But they can use Rovinj (in the north of Croatia) for Braavos

  45. mariamb
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    jentario: So obviously Bloodraven.He would only really need one scene this season. Tahen again, Patchface would work (if they ever intend to cast him).

    My guess is Patchface. But why such secrecy about his character? We already have confirmation about Oberyn and Ellaria. Perhaps his character hasn’t been revealed because he isn’t in the books. Maybe its a D&D creation similar to what was done with Locke/Vargo Hoat.

  46. xavier
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    http://www.spinvfx.com/team/neishaw-ali/

    Also, if you look in the cast & crew page at imdb, you will notice that the presence of Pixomondo employees has decreased, while those of other minor companies have increased.

  47. xavier
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Pixomondo is a true big VFX company, I hope they don´t follow the traditional path of TV Series of leaving the work to a multitude of small and cheaper VFX companies…

  48. mariamb
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    xavier,

    Thanks but I wasn’t the one asking about Pixmondo. However, I’m not sure that a listing on IMDB can be considered reliable.

  49. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    This is what happens when Iceland and Croatia get to stand in for so much. :)

    Or… what happens when you sell less DVD’s than the previous year.

  50. Anvil
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    xavier:
    mariamb,

    http://www.spinvfx.com/team/neishaw-ali/

    Also, if you look in the cast & crew page at imdb, you will notice that the presence of Pixomondo employees has decreased, while those of other minor companies have increased.

    Imdb is user-edited and therefore not a reliable source for information. In case these entries turn out to be correct I wouldn’t worry much. Spin FX did a great job creating the VFX for “The Borgias“.

  51. Selmy
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I never knew Americans spelled ‘Rumour’ like ‘Rumor’. Madness.

  52. jentario
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Selmy:
    I never knew Americans spelled ‘Rumour’ like ‘Rumor’. Madness.

    Madness? THIS IS USA! *kicks you down the Wall*

  53. Mike
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    New casting clue up (Mace Tyrell?)

  54. OtherAndrew
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    New casting clue at grrm’s site!

    http://GRRM.livejournal.com

  55. jentario
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Mike:
    New casting clue up (Mace Tyrell?)

    Yes. But what actor is: “He’s been a bishop, a cardinal, a prior, a friar, a vicar, a knight, a lord, a mayor, a director.”

  56. Lars
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    ItShouldBeDenaera:
    Braavos is definitely going to be shot in Venice. I always thought that half the reason they picked Croatia was that it’s so close to the best conceivable location for a major storyline of the show–you can actually see Venice from Northern Croatia on a clear day.

    You seem awfully certain about something you have no information on. Shooting Braavos in Venice??? Laughable on many levels, and extremely unlikely. (What’s next, shooting in downtown Rome?)

    All they need are some small sets or locations near water. The surrounding cityscape will be mostly a CG/painting backdrop.

    It won’t be a concern until season 5 anyway, most likely.

  57. Chickenduck
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    Definitely Mace (Father/Son, smell as sweet etc) but I can’t think of the actor from that clue. Who of the fan favourites has played a mayor?

  58. Selmy
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    : unfolds umbrella and flies away: “To Warwickshire!”

    British English is like High Valyrian and American English is like Ghiscari Valyrian.

  59. mariamb
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    jentario: Yes. But what actor is: “He’s been a bishop, a cardinal, a prior, a friar, a vicar, a knight, a lord, a mayor, a director.”

    Also: “He’s a father, he’s a son…There’s one born every minute, but by any other name he’d smell as sweet.”

    And the title of the blog post is “The Wedding Guest.” So, yes, its Mace but who is the actor?

  60. outdoorcats
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    to a measly three countries

    XD

  61. jentario
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Selmy:
    jentario,

    : unfolds umbrella and flies away: “To Warwickshire!”

    British English is like High Valyrian and American English is like Ghiscari Valyrian.

    Damn, the wildlings should have brought umbrellas when they climbed the Wall.

  62. Hear Me Roar
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    New post up.

  63. Josla
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Selmy:
    jentario,

    : unfolds umbrella and flies away: “To Warwickshire!”

    British English is like High Valyrian and American English is like Ghiscari Valyrian.

    Wonder how many other idiots speak “high valyrian” as well

  64. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    ??? Is there some reason to suspect that season 2 didn’t do as well in DVD sales?

  65. Selmy
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Josla,

    “Other idiots”

    Really?

  66. Chickenduck
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Josla: Wonder how many other idiots speak “high valyrian” as well

    Hey, use full stops if you’re going to insult us ;)

    So… Which Low Valyrian variety is Australian English… Qohorik? Myrish? I best get back to the conlangery workshop.

  67. Boojam
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: DVD

    “The Game of Thrones second season box set set a new record for HBO first-day DVD and Blu-ray sales, breaking the record previously set by Season 1′s release a year earlier. On its first day of release the box set sold 241,000 units, which is 44% higher than the first-day sales of Season 1. There were also 355,000 sales of episodes via digital download services, more than twice that for the first season.”

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/02/22/game-of-thrones-dvd-sales-breaking-hbo-records/

  68. asfastasican
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Sunny,

    That’s a silly comparison and a little naive. Besides, we won’t be seeing Dany and her dragons flying between skyscrapers wizzing past Mcdonalds and Starbucks any time soon.

  69. Chickenduck
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious:

    Or… what happens when you sell less DVD’s than the previous year.

    Except that they didn’t – it was a new all-time record. Although I see someone beat me to it on that comment.

  70. Chickenduck
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    asfastasican:
    Sunny,

    That’s a silly comparison and a little naive. Besides, we won’t be seeing Dany and her dragons flying between skyscrapers wizzing past Mcdonalds and Starbucks any time soon.

    Actually, it was a pretty relevant comment – Sunny was pointing out that no one stresses about shooting TV shows in the US, even though statistically the average Joe American on the street is more at risk of a violent death than the average Moroccan is.

    The fact that the Arab Spring has been going on in nearby countries and there is an Islamist insurgency in northern Mali doesn’t automatically mean that Morocco is at risk. As pointed out, it’s a relatively stable place by North African standards and politically is quite different to Algeria/Tunisia/Libya/Egypt (it’s a Constitutional Monarchy, whereas the other 4 were essentially one-party dictatorships).

    Same as instability in Mexico wouldn’t necessarily make LA dangerous for the Film/TV industry. Or strife in Bosnia stopping movies being shot in the Czech Republic all through the 90s etc etc.

  71. WildSeed
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Sunny:
    Lol Morocco is safer than most major American cities.

    Without making a long list of US , Mexico or other territories, you are (sadly) correct.

  72. WildSeed
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    vlad:
    Weird. Sure they can film in Croatia, but it looks nothing like Morocco…. maybe most of Dany’s story will be indoors??

    Possible maybe for limited or isolated outdoor intimate scenes and probable indoor,
    so you’re on to something…. We’ll know more in days or weeks to come.
    I agree with Darquemode’s reasoning that the film crew might return next year.

    Why is there a cry ( in a few comments ) for returning to Mereen ?

  73. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    GeekFurious,

    ??? Is there some reason to suspect that season 2 didn’t do as well in DVD sales?

    Well, yes. Facts. Or should we say “facts”? Since getting super accurate numbers for these things is next to impossible.

    Here is where DVD sales stood last year:

    Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season 975,593 units sold for $33,395,734 in revenue (for 2012 mind you).

    Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season 534,471 units sold for $16,493,733 in revenue (so far in 2013 mind you).

    Now, one could say “BUT WAIT!!!! 2013 IS ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH!”

    True, but the vast majority of sales happen in the first few months.

    Also, HBO announced sales were at an all-time high, yet the reported numbers don’t support that unless HBO has some super secret data they don’t plan on sharing.

    Let me just add that at the end of June of 2012, GOT Season 1 had done this:

    Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season – 949,240 units sold for $32,450,566 in revenue.

    Chickenduck: Except that they didn’t – it was a new all-time record.Although I see someone beat me to it on that comment.

    And as I demonstrated above… don’t believe press releases.

  74. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Boojam: “The Game of Thrones second season box set set a new record for HBO first-day DVD and Blu-ray sales, breaking the record previously set by Season 1′s release a year earlier. On its first day of release the box set sold 241,000 units, which is 44% higher than the first-day sales of Season 1.

    Yes, they did fantastically… on day one.

  75. Boojam
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious: Well, yes. Facts. Or should we say “facts”? Since getting super accurate numbers for these things is next to impossible.

    Here is where DVD sales stood last year:

    Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season975,593 units sold for $33,395,734 in revenue (for 2012 mind you).

    Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season534,471 units sold for $16,493,733 in revenue (so far in 2013 mind you).

    Now, one could say “BUT WAIT!!!! 2013 IS ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH!”

    True, but the vast majority of sales happen in the first few months.

    Also, HBO announced sales were at an all-time high, yet the reported numbers don’t support that unless HBO has some super secret data they don’t plan on sharing.

    Let me just add that at the end of June of 2012, GOT Season 1 had done this:

    Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season – 949,240 units sold for $32,450,566 in revenue.

    And as I demonstrated above… don’t believe press releases.

    What is the reference for these numbers?

    Does it include foreign sales?

    The data about digital download services , I am supposing thats non-pirate stuff?

  76. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Boojam: What is the reference for these numbers?

    Does it include foreign sales?

    The data about digital download services , I am supposing thats non-pirate stuff?

    I have no way of acquiring foreign sales but, as usual, domestic sales drive revenue.

    I just posted this article with the facts noted (with links):

    http://geekfurious.blogspot.com/2013/07/game-of-thrones-home-video-sales.html

  77. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    That is strange, if true. Why would popularity increase, yet DVD sales decrease by nearly half? I have trouble believing sales would fall that much, especially when you factor early sales and the increase in ratings for season 3.

  78. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    GeekFurious,

    That is strange, if true. Why would popularity increase, yet DVD sales decrease by nearly half? I have trouble believing sales would fall that much, especially when you factor early sales and the increase in ratings for season 3.

    I had trouble believing it myself. Which is why I’ve sat on writing an article about it for months. But there’s no way around it. Sales are down. Viewership is up. And HBO is refusing to talk about it (I asked them to talk about it).

  79. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious: Well, yes. Facts. Or should we say “facts”? Since getting super accurate numbers for these things is next to impossible.

    Here is where DVD sales stood last year:

    Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season975,593 units sold for $33,395,734 in revenue (for 2012 mind you).

    Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season534,471 units sold for $16,493,733 in revenue (so far in 2013 mind you).

    Now, one could say “BUT WAIT!!!! 2013 IS ONLY HALFWAY THROUGH!”

    True, but the vast majority of sales happen in the first few months.

    Also, HBO announced sales were at an all-time high, yet the reported numbers don’t support that unless HBO has some super secret data they don’t plan on sharing.

    Let me just add that at the end of June of 2012, GOT Season 1 had done this:

    Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season – 949,240 units sold for $32,450,566 in revenue.

    And as I demonstrated above… don’t believe press releases.

    It’s important to keep a few things in mind. The figures posted above are in fact, DVD sales figures, which are tallied independently from Blu-Ray sales figures. This is important because the second season Blu-Ray release also included a DVD set for the season (as well as a digital copy), whereas the first season did not. The Blu-Ray set was also the same price as the stand-alone DVD set for the first month or so of its release (maybe longer, but I know for sure that it was the same price for at least a month), meaning that the number of units sold on the Blu-Ray front is likely a much larger percentage of the overall sales than it was for the first season.

    Note: Sales tracking currently includes only the DVD versions of the movie. Blu-ray sales are not included at this time.

    So don’t always believe the press releases, sure, but the numbers don’t always tell the full story, either. I highly doubt that the show has dropped Morocco from the schedule as a result of either finances or because of political tensions in the ‘region’. More likely, it wasn’t worth the added complication to an already tight and complicated schedule. They’re clearly looking to distinguish Mereen from Yunkai and Astapor visually, and there are only so many ways they can re-dress the old sets from Kingdom of Heaven to represent a different city in Essos.

  80. Alice
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Piracy ?

  81. Boojam
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious: I have no way of acquiring foreign sales but, as usual, domestic sales drive revenue.

    I just posted this article with the facts noted (with links):

    http://geekfurious.blogspot.com/2013/07/game-of-thrones-home-video-sales.html

    Foreign sales must be held in secret by HBO (or Time-Warner) , have looked for them and never found.
    It is my understanding that HBO improved their foreign ‘cable’ distribution last year, with intent to improve it more.
    These are figures (well something about SKY-Atlantic ) that are also impossible to shake out of the WEB , or at least I can’t.

    Still, what about the legal digital download situation?

  82. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga: It’s important to keep a few things in mind. The figures posted above are in fact, DVD sales figures, which are tallied independently from Blu-Ray sales figures. This is important because the second season Blu-Ray release also included a DVD set for the season (as well as a digital copy), whereas the first season did not. The Blu-Ray set was also the same price as the stand-alone DVD set for the first month or so of its release (maybe longer, but I know for sure that it was the same price for at least a month), meaning that the number of units sold on the Blu-Ray front is likely a much larger percentage of the overall sales than it was for the first season.

    So don’t always believe the press releases, sure, but the numbers don’t always tell the full story, either. I highly doubt that the show has dropped Morocco from the schedule as a result of either finances or because of political tensions in the ‘region’. More likely, it wasn’t worth the added complication to an already tight and complicated schedule. They’re clearly looking to distinguish Mereen from Yunkai and Astapor visually, and there are only so many ways they can re-dress the old sets from Kingdom of Heaven to represent a different city in Essos.

    I posted the Blu-Ray figures for the first 2 weeks which show big numbers first week, huge drop second week. By the third (and fourth for that matter) Blu-Ray was selling LESS than DVD.

    So, the point remains. Season 2 is underselling, domestically. Which is why the only press release we got out of HBO was for the first day. Not the first week.

  83. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Your source is ‘The Numbers’, correct? They don’t tally any Blu-Ray sales, just DVD sales. So your information is neither complete nor correct. Not trying to be a jerk here, but saying things like ‘HBO refuses to respond’ and ‘Season two sales plummet’, it seems you’re just trying to drive hits to your blog.

  84. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga:
    GeekFurious,

    Your source is ‘The Numbers’, correct? They don’t tally any Blu-Ray sales, just DVD sales. So your information is neither complete nor correct. Not trying to be a jerk here, but saying things like ‘HBO refuses to respond’ and ‘Season two sales plummet’, it seems you’re just trying to drive hits to your blog.

    They DO tally Blu-Ray sales. I followed all their reported numbers week-to-week to get my data. Though, they are not the only source of information. There is also Home Media Magazine which counts them too. In any event, the Blu-Ray numbers don’t account for the losses.

    And now you are dismissing my information by saying I’m just “trying to get hits”? I titled it accurately. And I did what any other blog or site does with their article titles. Including this one.

    As for your other accusation about “HBO refuses to respond” that’s also a fact. I tried contacting several different members of their PR team about it and never received a single response back. It’s not like they don’t respond to other requests for information.

  85. Jordan
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    What is your theory for the supposed drop (if it exists, I’d guess internet piracy)? Are you one of the “purists” that attributes it to angry book-readers?

  86. sunspear
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    asfastasican:
    Sunny,

    That’s a silly comparison and a little naive. Besides, we won’t be seeing Dany and her dragons flying between skyscrapers wizzing past Mcdonalds and Starbucks any time soon.

    Great, you’ve just given hbo the idea for the first season four trailer.

  87. GeekFurious
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Jordan:
    GeekFurious,

    What is your theory for the supposed drop (if it exists, I’d guess internet piracy)?Are you one of the “purists” that attributes it to angry book-readers?

    If anything, I am a hardcore revisionist.

    I don’t really know. I thought about the whole subscription increase possibility but I couldn’t find anything to support that. While it is possible, and only HBO knows if their overall subscription base has increased for GOT only, I don’t think that is what is happening.

    Most likely, people who bought season 1 watched season 2 “live” and didn’t feel the need to buy the set. I don’t think piracy affects overall sales by that much. I would love to hear back from HBO about their internal figures but I don’t expect that to happen.

  88. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    No, they don’t “tally” Blu-Ray sales at all. Those figures you released above are DVD only, for both seasons one and two. The site itself provides this disclaimer on every page where title specific information is provided.

    Also, Home Media Magazine provides market share information on Blu-Ray sales, not specific figures.

    Link to specific Blu-Ray sales figures?

  89. Boojam
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious: If anything, I am a hardcore revisionist.

    I don’t really know. I thought about the whole subscription increase possibility but I couldn’t find anything to support that. While it is possible, and only HBO knows if their overall subscription base has increased for GOT only, I don’t think that is what is happening.

    Most likely, people who bought season 1 watched season 2 “live” and didn’t feel the need to buy the set. I don’t think piracy affects overall sales by that much. I would love to hear back from HBO about their internal figures but I don’t expect that to happen.

    @GeekFurious

    I think that increased subscriptions may be the answer.
    The figures published on Wilipedia are quite startling , and those are only the first showing US only, not even North America, I think HBO Canada airs the show simultaneously with the US. (Sometime I see weekly totals for first plus repeat showing, but the total weekly figures seem as mysterious as foreign sales.)
    The non North American numbers is a real puzzle , have friends in Germany who were really torqued that GOT , first season, was delayed ‘over the air’ (by cable?) by 6 months (or something like that) there. I think that has changed (Germany is very genre friendly , prose fantasy sells well there). As for the rest of the world I would be curious to know, since in the film industry some (not all) Hollywood ‘big budget films’ here have crashed and burned , while foreign sales have pushed revenues into the stratosphere.
    So those mysterious foreign DVD sales are of interest.

    HBO has an odd businesses model , DVD release for a continuing series seemed timed as an advertising ploy for the start of the next season. I would love to buy the DVD’s as a Christmas gift for my brother and sister (who watch little live TV, even tho they can afford it and have it!)…. they are always pleased…. Yet I will be giving them season 2 this year while season 3 has been over for months. I may be wrong, but I think HBO looses sales because of their odd strategy.

    It looks like James Hibberd does not check sales statistics as well as you do?

    Do you have any insight into the long (long) standing rumor that HBO regretted canceling ROME and DEADWOOD when they saw the finals on DVD sales?

    The numbers about legal Digital Downloads is not a number you can verify?

  90. Mark
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Rather like saying I’m not visiting Seattle as people are shooting each other in Mexico.

    The Dragon Demands:
    Actually, my suspicion was that they’d leave Morocco due to growing political instability in North Africa related to the Arab Spring.

    I mean, there was that whole incident where an oil rig in Algeria was taken over by terrorists in a hostage crisis.

    That being said, once the action shifts to Meereen, they only really need a single city to film in….but I thought Split would be Braavos?

  91. WildSeed
    Posted July 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Khal-A-Bunga,

    I agree with all your points here.

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    GeekFurious,

    That is strange, if true. Why would popularity increase, yet DVD sales decrease by nearly half? I have trouble believing sales would fall that much, especially when you factor early sales and the increase in ratings for season 3.

    A fair % of people do pirate this or any network show, with no intention of
    purchasing a DVD or CD. Really not difficult to believe that the ” Iron Price ”
    is preferable to some. It’s global and factors in each class segment.

  92. Pau Soriano
    Posted August 1, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious: If anything, I am a hardcore revisionist.

    I don’t really know. I thought about the whole subscription increase possibility but I couldn’t find anything to support that. While it is possible, and only HBO knows if their overall subscription base has increased for GOT only, I don’t think that is what is happening.

    Most likely, people who bought season 1 watched season 2 “live” and didn’t feel the need to buy the set. I don’t think piracy affects overall sales by that much. I would love to hear back from HBO about their internal figures but I don’t expect that to happen.

    GeekFurious: If anything, I am a hardcore revisionist.

    I don’t really know. I thought about the whole subscription increase possibility but I couldn’t find anything to support that. While it is possible, and only HBO knows if their overall subscription base has increased for GOT only, I don’t think that is what is happening.

    Most likely, people who bought season 1 watched season 2 “live” and didn’t feel the need to buy the set. I don’t think piracy affects overall sales by that much. I would love to hear back from HBO about their internal figures but I don’t expect that to happen.

    To think that the DVD/BR sales “have plummeted” is not to be very smart, really…

  93. Kim
    Posted August 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Dave,

    Rumor: Roose Bolton is at Winterfell as Warden Of The North when he receives a visitor. After dropping the hood from her cloak, Catelyn says” No chainmail Lord Bolton? ” Before killing him.


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