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Piracy Once Again Fails To Get in the Way of Record Box Office

Piracy Once Again Fails To Get In Way Of Record Box Office

It seems strange to me that the various movie company players continually bleet how piracy is killing their industry and yet – even without changing business models – they still have record year after record year. Something just doesn’t add up.

“The average cinema ticket price increased by 39 cents in 2010, consistent with the past few years, even as attendance to premium screening has increased (e.g. 3D),” says its new report on worldwide revenues. “Moviegoing remains the most affordable entertainment option — costing under $50 dollars for a family of four.”

I guess those kids don’t get popcorn!

“Though innovation and technology continue to be a positive force for the theatrical business, driving moviegoers towards higher value 3D entertainment,” said Pisano, “the continued theft of movies online will have a sustained adverse impact on movie attendance in the coming years.”

Pisaro concludes with the familiar, tired mantra, “It’s impossible to compete with free.”

To which I will respond “If you cannot compete with free, you cannot compete.” A downloaded movie – licensed or not – is not the same experience/product as going to the movies.

As for slightly falling attendance in US theaters – when you keep making the experience less and less pleasant, that’s the inevitable consequence of what the movie theaters are doing and not external factors. – a somewhat “pro” modern realities site – expands on the concept with their article Evil Piraes: Movie Industry Tops $30 Billion Box Office Record:

Does the MPAA chief truly believe that a shaky camcorded version of a movie is somehow depriving movie theaters of visitors? Are there millions of people who prefer watching a low quality camcorded version of a movie over a theater visit simply because they can save a few bucks?

Pisano is comparing apples and oranges here – and he and his buddies have nearly 32 billion reasons in their back pocket to prove it.

It would be the same as saying that a fan of band X won’t go to a concert because he can download a bootleg copy on the Internet instead. Movie piracy is hardly a threat (or competition) to movie theater attendances. If anything holds people back from spending a few dollars on a movie it’s probably the insane security measures that have been implemented in recent years.

I’m still waiting for the RIAA or MPAA or any of their international associates publish a peer reviewed (that is, using proper Scientific Method) study that establishes loss by any record company or movie studio directly attributable to unuorthorized distribution. Conversely, we do have the US Government Accounting Office saying that the figures from the MPAA/RIAA are inaccurate and not factually based. (A polite way of saying “they lie”.)

And yet, mainstream media repeats the press releases without any critical analysis or even review. And they wonder why I don’t bother consuming the second rate product of the mainstream news media.



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