It turns out that a number of players in the US are experiencing the same Brawl problems that the Japanese did. The complaints are related to the disc either failing to start, or stuttering that adversely affects gameplay.
This is no fault of the disc, but of the Wii itself, due to dirty lasers inside the console. Nintendo are already on the case, insisting users do not try to clean the laser themselves for fear of damaging the Wii. Brawl is specifically susceptible to the problem because it's the first game to use a double-layer disc.
Big N are repairing Wiis free of charge, if you need your console fixed here is the form:
If you're experiencing the problem but are desperate to play Brawl and can't wait, James Mielke has a suggestion that might work:
"I kept getting disc read errors, but I found that if I put it in and let the Wii do all its scanning before I started spamming 'A', it usually started up. Basically, put the disc in, you can hear it making disc-reading sounds. Wait until they settle down, press A on the SSBB icon on the Wii menu, repeat the waiting process until the disc stops making reading sounds again, then start the game with the Wiimote. I found that helped a lot".
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