Hollywood will, and has been for many years now, tell us all that piracy is the big, bad wolf that is threatening to burn Hollywood down. This is not actually the case. There is a much simpler explanation for dwindling box office takings.
Piracy Isn’t Killing Hollywood
Piracy isn’t killing Hollywood. In fact, it’s having no discernible effect on U.S. box office receipts. It is harming international box office receipts, but for one very good reason: the delay between movies being released in the U.S. and being released elsewhere around the world.
This is according to a paper from researchers at the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College titled, ‘Reel Piracy: The Effect of Online Film Piracy on International Box Office Sales.’
The research finds that there is no evidence that piracy is affecting box office takings in the U.S. Internationally there is evidence of such, but it’s directly proportional to how long a delay between the U.S. release and the international release. In other words, release a film in every country simultaneously and minimize the problem at a stroke.
Embracing The Future
This is a common sense, a no-brainer, a truth that the U.S. movie industry has rejected until now and will continue to reject until Hollywood is in flames and the Internet is the sole source of content delivery.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Hollywood could forge the future by accepting that the Internet has changed the world. It may not think it has changed it for the better but changed it it has. And there is no going back.
People still want to watch movies on a big screen, but they also want the opportunity to watch in their own home. They want fairness in terms of pricing and availability, and they want the ease of downloading films from the Web without the need to pirate in order to do so.
The sooner Hollywood stops trying to fight against an unstoppable force and instead embraces the new way things are done, it will continue to slowly die. Not because of piracy but because of stupidity. Oh, and producing crap movies no one wants to pay good money to watch.
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