2011 has been a poor year at the box office, with audience numbers and revenue down to their lowest levels since 1995. But don’t blame piracy, as the list of the most-pirated movies released in the past 12 months suggests bigger issues are at play here.
Hollywood Box Office
Hollywood has had a bad year, with attendances and revenues down by 4- to 5-percent on 2010. This despite both being up during the summer. In other words a poor second half of the year has killed any lingering hopes that 2011 was to be the year the movie industry turned things around.
Hollywood’s default is to blame the rise of movie piracy. After all attendances and takings have both been pretty much stagnant for a decade, which coincides with when file-sharing became a mainstream activity.
TorrentFreak recently compiled and published a list of the Top 10 most-pirated movies of 2011. Fast Five took the title, beating the likes of The Hangover: Part II, The King’s Speech, and the last Harry Potter movie.
Interestingly there is no discernible pattern to be seen. Most of the movies in the Top 10 made lots of money despite being heavily pirated, with the obvious exception of Sucker Punch. But that just wasn’t a very good movie.
Piracy = Root Of All Evil
Movie piracy certainly isn’t helping Hollywood. If there was no Internet and no piracy then perhaps more people would go to theaters. But it certainly wouldn’t solve the problem outright.
This is simply because each download does not equal a lost sale. Whatever Hollywood may suggest to the contrary. In this weakening economy many people just cannot afford to watch movies at full price. If dodgy downloads didn’t exist then most just wouldn’t see the latest films at all.
The world has changed, with a cultural shift in people’s attitudes to entertainment. The sooner Hollywood realizes this and starts to evolve with society then the sooner it will stop throwing money away.
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