MPAA: record-breaking box-office year is proof that piracy is killing movies

Once again, the motion picture industry has smashed all annual box-office records. According to the MPAA, this proves that we need more laws allowing them to censor and spy on the Internet to prevent piracy.


  1. And I still can’t get Cannonball Run 3 on dvd, I would gladly hand my cash over, but nooooo…. VHS ONLY! GAH!

  2. the worst in all this is that their continued call for security in the name of profits makes society as a whole a lot less fun to spend your time in.

    let’s distrust everyone, they might be an agent for THEM*!

    *them being, everyone who is not us.

  3. “Moviegoing remains the most affordable entertainment option—costing under $50 dollars for a family of four.*”

    * from our carefully chosen set of entertainment options that are all more expensive than going to the movies.**

    **Asterisk and explanation added by this commenter and not the MPAA.

  4. That’s unpossible!

    If this were true, it would mean the MPAA didn’t have to spend billions of dollars to get Joe Biden into office – and shirley they aren’t that dumb.

    After all, the recording industry are the most quintessential capitalists – they create nothing, yet control access to others’ creativity through monetary manipulation of the political system, (because they have the capital and artists don’t) so that monies from consumers are redirected to build more capital for the Masters.

    And we all know that capitalists are inherently smart, good looking and exceptionally virile.

  5. I thought it was the RIAA that was trying to clamping down on internet users and the MPAA was just along for the ride.

      1. Well the thing is, this is raising a question that no one asked. At the time that both AA’s were going after pirates, their sales were down. Plus the sensationalist title doesn’t really help with the integrity of the article. Boooo to Doctorow.

  6. Anyone with even a teensy weensy bit of money and power thinks it entitles them to spy on people. Maybe they’re just teensy weensy in the mind or the netherbits. The Internet is OURS, leave it alone fattys

    1. Or the industry was successful in spite of all the piracy. They’re just that good.

      Or maybe they just raised admission prices for those ridiculous 3D movies.

  7. Rich men sitting around a table with their record profits complaining about how they would have had even MORE RECORD profits had those damn pirates not ruined their day.

    Their day of making record profits.

  8. The salient point, I think, is that the number of people going to the cinema went down. They made the money back (and a bit more) by increasing the price for the people that did go. If the number of people going to the cinema really went down, it’s not inconcievable that piracy had something to do with it.

    Which isn’t to say that I agree with the principle of their anti-piracy stance, but you can’t deny the logic of their conclusion if you accept their premise.

    1. Even if you accept the premise that home viewing decreases ticket sales there’s no reason to believe that piracy was a bigger factor in that than the multitude of legal, profitable home viewing options now available to consumers. Why assume that piracy has kept more people away from theaters than Hulu or Netflix?

      1. And there’s not just the home movie viewing options, there’s plenty of other forms of entertainment that movies are competing with. Whether it’s 150 TV channels, a practically unlimited number of video games to choose from, or posting on message boards about how much the MPAA sucks, there are plenty of other ways for me to spend my free time that don’t require me to get in my car and drive somewhere.

      2. Well because you’re an old dinosaur running your entire industry’s business model into the ground, that’s why!

    2. I went to the multiplex cinema far less in 2010 than I have in recent years, because I really dislike 3D movies (on all sorts of levels: artistic, economic but most of all physical unpleasantness) and I happen to live somewhere where I can rarely see a non-3D version of a 3D film without travelling a long way. This has continued in 2011. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I am not alone in this.

      For the record, I went to my local independent cinema probably slightly more than usual though, albeit mostly to see stuff like Opera from the Met rather than actual movies. And I’m also something of a cinesnob – I want to see a film at the cinema because that’s what it was made for, or should have been, anyway. Have you seriously tried watching Master & Commander on a home tv? I don’t care how big your screen is – it’s not big enough..!)

    3. “The salient point, I think, is that the number of people going to the cinema went down. They made the money back (and a bit more) by increasing the price for the people that did go. If the number of people going to the cinema really went down, it’s not inconcievable that piracy had something to do with it.”

      Or, perhaps, the average ticket price rose and as a result, fewer people went to the cinema. I mean, it’s not like there haven’t been some adverse economic circumstances lately…

  9. Stop!

    I swear, the MPAA’s sense of humour is killing me!

    What – They are serious? – Oh man – that’s still too damned funny! Stop!!

  10. For the same cost my wife and I can:
    A: Go to one move in a theater.
    B: Purchase a DVD (or sometimes Blueray) when it is released.
    C: Pay for two months of Netflix.
    I watch a lot of movies and all of them legally, but there are very few that get me to go with option A.

  11. I live about three minutes on foot from a very nice, remodeled multiplex with comfortable seats, marble bathrooms and friendly staff. I go a couple of times per year. Because the movies are mostly crap. For the price of one new movie, I can watch five great films via Netflix. I only ever bother with the theater for something like Harry Potter or LOTR where the big screen makes a difference. Out of nine screens at the local theater, right now one of them is showing a non-crap film. And, ooh, it’s from the UK.

    At the risk of yelling at the kids on my lawn, if the studios were turning out pictures by Hitchcock and Welles with stars like Cary Grant and Bette Davis, the industry would be doing much better. Justin Bieber Never Say Never 3D, Oy Vey My Son Is Gay and Big Momma’s: Like Father Like Son – what do they expect?

    1. To be fair to Hollywood it’s not like crap movies are anything new. It’s just that the Hitchcock and Welles films have survived the test of time while the Ed Woods (well not him personally, but you get the idea) have fallen into deserved obscurity.

          1. Little known fact: the phrase ‘Never again’ refers to films starring pop idols. They haven’t been watchable since Elvis.

        1. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

          I didn’t have to know about this. I could have lived on, never comprehending that such foolishness would be made for millions of dollars.

          If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom questioning everything I knew ten minutes ago.

    2. The only appeal a movie theater has ever had for me has been the social aspect.

      The only time I’ve ever gone out to experience a movie specifically is at The Uptown, because their screen is ridiculous.

  12. I really don’t get how they think $50 is cheap for family entertainment. My whole family has a lot of fun when we take the kids to the park, and that’s free. Sometimes we rent a movie, and it is usually $2 from the convenience store, or we watch something streaming on Netflix. It perplexes me that there is a problem with people being overweight, and too many poor people as well, when all the really cheap forms of entertainment, like going out for a bike ride, a hide, going skating at public rink, swimming in public pool, and many other activities are so much cheaper than other activities like going to the cinema, going to a sports game, watching cable TV, and other similar activities.

  13. #18 and #21 – you’re right of course. Those are contributing factors as well. I personally don’t think that piracy competes effectively with cinema viewing purely because the cam and telesync recordings that are available prior to the release of the DVD are utterly awful.

    I’m just trying to point out that the leap from “they made some more money this year” to “their claims that piracy hurts them are therefore bogus” has missed out a few steps and perhaps been hyperbolised on the way.

  14. Whoa, I almost fell into your thoughtstream from that stepping stone you removed from your headline. Thanks for the link. Attendance is down.

  15. I just don’t get it. Do the MPAA executives still have a brain, or is there just some mush in their skull that squawks out “MOAR MONEYZ!!?!1?!” from time to time? I bet they could let the movies out in the public domain on the day the movies hit the theatres, and they’d STILL get record-breaking profits, because YOU CAN’T GET THE THEATRE EXPERIENCE AT HOME (well, most people can’t).

  16. Our landlord recently loaned us a bunch of movies, on VHS and DVD, as well as players (our computers don’t have optical disk readers).

    It’s amazing how much nicer the tapes are to watch. Did you know DVDs frequently come with between two and six trailers (and outright ads – like for Toyota) that are unskippable? And then you have to watch the main menu before you can click play.

    It’s horrible, like someone baked a 90s era Flash-based website onto a disk and hid a movie at the end as an easter egg.

    The tapes not only don’t usually have all the spam, but you can fast-forward when they do. When you hit stop you know it’ll be there when you come back – on the DVD player this is 50/50 and will force you to watch the crap again.

    Do they actually use their own products?

    Of course nothing is as convenient as a nice downloaded copy with subtitles in text so I can either view the movie with them or read a transcript later, etc.

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