Hollywood, Once Again, Sets A Record At The Box Office

from the well,-look-at-that dept

Considering how much time the MPAA has spent arguing that the sky is falling, that jobs are disappearing and the movie industry is collapsing, you'd have to imagine that its PR people had to think long and hard about how they "spin" the news that global box-office receipts set yet another new record in 2011, as they rose by 3%. It really is quite the PR challenge, and the MPAA pulls it off with a bizarre press release patting itself on the back, and then insisting that piracy is right now... just about... this close... no, really... finally.... maybe... having an impact. How's this for awkward:
"Innovation and technology continue to be a driving force for our business," Dodd said. "People are driven to fill theater seats by the promise of great films and a great, technologically enhanced movie going experience. But online content theft continues to threaten the economic success of our industry -- an industry that employs millions of Americans and brings money into the U.S. economy from around the world. We should protect that success, not undermine it by stealing products and cutting the revenue it puts into the U.S. economy."
Yup. Love the spin, overpaid MPAA PR people: "protect that success"? Good stuff. "We're dying so bad that we're setting tremendous new records..."
Digging into the details a bit, yes, the US numbers were off ever so slightly, but there's growing evidence that was almost entirely about the quality (rather, lack of quality) of the movies that were released last year, as the MPAA is also gleefully talking about how domestic box office is already up by 14% this year. And, even with the very slight dip last year, the MPAA notes that domestic box office is up 6% in the last 5 years, so the trend is still clearly upward. They also note that 67% of all people in the US and Canada went to the movies at least once in 2011, with the younger generation again going quite frequently -- with the 25 to 39 demographic and the 18 to 24 demographic (also known as the prime demographics for knowing their way around the dark underbelly of the interwebs) being the biggest movie-goers.

Also, pretty much anywhere around the globe that you look, box office revenue is up. Over the last five years, box-office revenue from Europe, the Middle East and Africa is up a whopping 24%. Asia Pacific? Up 38%. Latin America? Up an astounding 86%.

Buried deep within the MPAA's report is the basic admission that the reason for the drop in 2011 certainly wasn't "piracy," but rather the lack of Avatar:
3D box office was down $400 million in 2011 compared to 2010, which contained Avatar’s record-breaking 3D box office performance, while 2D box office was consistent with 2010.
Some keep trying to make a big deal out of the fact that the actual number of tickets sold has shown a steady decline, but that's silly. No business is focused on maximizing tickets sold. They focus on maximizing revenue. If the goal was to maximize tickets sold, that's easy, just lower the price to a penny and watch the number of tickets sold go sky high. Instead, as the report shows, ticket prices have continued to rise, though it rose by the smallest amount (1%) in 2011 that it has since 2002. That suggests, at least, that earlier in the decade they may have been underpricing a bit, but may have found something of a ceiling, for the time being.


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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Yawn.

    Wha...MPAA cries "Piracy! Piracy!" when their numbers are up?

    Wake me up when they say something worthwhile and meaningful.
    *Goes back to sleep*

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:39am

    Question:

    How does this graph not find it's way into every damned case/hearing/legislation that the MPAA and their people bring up? It's like a trump card....

     

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Yes, it seems they admit it's not the pirates. So it must be those filthy child pornographers that are killing the movie industry, right?

    Next in the news: "After trying to push SOPA through the Congress, MPAA and RIAA ramp up the lobby efforts but this time they'll call the bill SOAP to try and trick people it's some sort of environment friendly bill."

     

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      Niall (profile), Mar 26th, 2012 @ 4:53am

      Re:

      Just con the **AAs to produce a 'hockey stick graph', tout it to the media, and all the right-wingers will automatically vote against it!

      Even more points if you can drag in healthcare or abortion...

       

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    Mike42 (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Ahhh!

    Our business is growing in the middle of a global economic downturn! Help! Help! The freetards are killing our business!

     

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    John Doe, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:56am

    I am so sick of spin

    Innovation and technology continue to be a driving force for our business

    There has been no innovation and technology in the movie industry, except for 3D films, in many years. The technology is coming from the tech sector. This is Dodd's way of trying to imply that the industry is up on technology and using it as part of their business when in fact they are fighting technology with ever ounce of energy they have. It is the technology sector dragging them into the future, not them riding the technology wave.

     

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      John Doe, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:00pm

      Re: I am so sick of spin

      As a case in point, I have just recently started reading ebooks. Yea, I know, I am late to the party but I wasn't reading any books. So I used my Amazon account to buy The Hunger Games. I can read it on my Android phone with the Kindle app, I can read it on the internet through the Kindle cloud reader, I can read it on my laptop with the Kindle PC application and I could read it on an actual Kindle if I had one. The cool thing is, it syncs your location in the book across all of the devices. Did a publisher create that? Nope, a bookstore that is now a publisher did.

      Ok, so this is the book industry and not the movie industry, but it is representative of what the tech sector is doing for the IP sector, not the other way around.

       

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      CN, Mar 24th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

      Re: I am so sick of spin

      Perhaps I can clear things up.

      "Innovation and technology continue to be a driving force for our business," Dodd said.

      Meaning: "Innovation and technology continue to drive us to force horrible legislation on the people to protect our seriously outdated business models and to hide in terror because we have absolutely no idea how to adapt and improve."

      People are driven to fill theater seats by the promise of great films and

      ...once in a blue moon we actually deliver on that promise.

      But online content theft continues to...

      be a convenient excuse to cover our ineptitude.

      an industry that employs millions of Americans and brings money into the U.S. economy

      despite our utter incompetence.

      not undermine it by stealing products

      We and our high-priced lawyers totally understand the difference between theft and infringement, but if we confuse enough people, we think it is okay to pretend they are the same.

      3D box office was down $400 million in 2011 compared to 2010, which contained Avatar’s record-breaking 3D box office performance

      We got lucky in 2010, and our failure in 2011 must not go unpunished. Obviously we can't punish our own, so that only leaves the customers (aka lousy thieves!)

       

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    hothmonster, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:58am

    "with the younger generation again going quite frequently -- with the 25 to 39 demographic and the 18 to 24 demographic (also known as the prime demographics for knowing their way around the dark underbelly of the interwebs) being the biggest movie-goers. "

    But...but..entitled generation, needs to learn the value, won't pay for free, ruined by internet, but... pirates!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:59am

    Why people stop going to a theater.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=YjayUxhozzk#t=63s

    If you go to a theater and get 3D glasses that look like that I don't see many people going there for much longer.

    America is the home of the disgusting theaters.
    Not even in Europe I saw anything like that, in Asia everything you get comes wrapped in plastic and are clean, even in Latin America you don' t see that kind of thing except in the very very poor places.

     

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      Some Other AC (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:41pm

      Re: Why people stop going to a theater.

      Other than the guy in the video being obnoxious, i can agree with his issues. Fortunately the theater chain my family frequents for movies offers individually wrapped 3d glasses should we choose the watch the movie in 3d.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:54pm

      Re: Why people stop going to a theater.

      No idea where you see your movies. My theater is always clean, free of obnoxious odor and litter. The people are friendly, the seats comfortable, and the other customers generally well-behaved. Also it doesn't cost me $12.50+ to see a movie.

       

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 12:51pm

      Re: Why people stop going to a theater.

      Never mind the glasses, 3D in and of itself is one of the many reasons I very rarely go to the cinema. For a start, more money on top of the already high ticket price for a feature I don't want is hard to swallow. Then there's the 3D itself, which is mostly about as convincing as View Master used to be. Then there's the film which, almost without exception, seems to have been made just to look pretty in 3D rather than having any other useful features like plot, story, good dialogue or writing. Oh, and if you can actually get a 2D showing of the film the scenes that were REALLY designed to look pretty in 3D stand out so much that they end up looking cheesy in 2D. For these reasons my consumption of hollywood films by any medium is starting to decline too.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:59am

    I get it

    Maybe piracy is hurting the industry so bad and tanking revenue so horribly that revenue has underflowed?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 11:59am

    The counter-argument is simple

    There's an old saying....

    "Bob, last year was awful, I lost $5 million!"
    "Joe, that's horrible! What happened?"
    "I only made $20 million, when I made $25 million the year before"

    Making money isn't enough. Making more money than the year before isn't enough. There needs to be a higher % growth every year than the year before, growing into infinity to keep everyone happy.

     

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      ASTROBOI, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:32pm

      Re: The counter-argument is simple

      Ye, YOU get it! No matter how much they make they will always feel that if they could just stamp out copying they would make even more. The obvious error in logic is that, if they had their way. within a few decades the movie business would take in more money than the government.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:47pm

        Re: Re: The counter-argument is simple

        Fun fact; even if you routinely make $5 million dollars more than you did last year, the percentage growth will get smaller and smaller. If you go from $5 to $10, that's 100%, but then going from $10 to $15 is only 50% growth, and going from $15 to $20 is a tear-jerking 33% growth. Obviously, pirates are responsible for you losing so much money!

         

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    Average Daryll /out of the/ Blue Bob, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    But but profits!

    Listen slimeball Mike, revenue may be up but profits are way down and its definitely due to piracy. See, we keep spending all this money on lawyers and lobbyists to fight piracy. You think congressmen are cheap? Well some are but that's beside the point.

    Hey wait a minute...*turns* guys why don't we just not spend money on the legislation if the actual piracy doesn't really seem to be, i mean the pirates seem to be our biggest paying demogr*hammer to the head*.....

     

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    Colin, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:06pm

    Wait, I thought technology was out to get them or something? Google is technology, right?

     

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    GMacGuffin (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    No business is focused on maximizing tickets sold.

    Follow baseball? They won't let up on tickets sold (despite the ludicrous number-fudging being an open secret - cue Marlins last year, often claiming 15k attendance when clearly there might have been 2k in the seats).

     

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    [citation needed or GTFO], Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Could it be?

    An actual chart! That has real data!

    Quick, save the link to this article so we can rub this in the face of piracy trolls next time they infest us again with their complaints of "Wah! You never back up your claims!"

     

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    hothmonster, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    "Licensing fees from other people's innovation and technology continue to be the driving force for our business,"

    ftfy Dodd

     

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    Brian, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    I can understand why they're upset. They have to work harder and harder to sell crappier and crappier movies to viewers. And who wants to work for their money?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Oh look, some more cherry picked facts to make a headline. Worse, yet, you are trying to distort stuff to say what it doesn't say:

    "Buried deep within the MPAA's report is the basic admission that the reason for the drop in 2011 certainly wasn't "piracy," but rather the lack of Avatar:"

    Piracy in 2011 wasn't significantly HIGHER or lower than 2010. That doesn't mean piracy isn't involved in the decline in ticket sales for the last 7 years or so. It's a nice try to defect, but it would only be a valid argument if piracy was suddenly a new idea in 2011 (and it sure wasn't!).

    I do like the report supports my feeling about the "best fans":

    "Domestic movie ticket sales continue to be fueled by repeated visits by frequent moviegoers, those who go to the movies once a month or more. Frequent moviegoers represent only 10% of the population but purchased half of all tickets sold in 2011."

    For me, it's the reason why piracy has such a significant effect on sales of movies and music in the long run, because each time someone decides NOT to buy a movie ticket, and decides to pirate instead, they can be lost... and since the biggest movie fans count for such a high percentage of ticket sales, losing even a few points there has a big ripple effect.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:36pm

      Re:

      Look at the facts:

      Piracy: Constant
      Revenue: Up (and increasing)
      Economic atmosphere: Deep economical crisis*

      And you are complaining?

      Honest question: Are you stupid?



      * You might not notice it from the top of your corporate castle, but here in Europe at least, some of us are struggling. And by struggling, I mean, you can't get a job even if you wanted one, because there aren't any.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Revenue was actually down in the US. The US currently lags Europe in terms of piracy enforcement, so it isn't necessarily a surprise that the rest of the world had an increase in revenue.

        Secondly, the number of tickets sold most certainly is important; if ticket prices must be raised simply to equal the previous year's revenue, then the fact that fewer people are buying tickets adversely affects those that are. They pay more because other people don't want to pay at all. Hardly fair.

        The above blog post is nothing but an intellectually dishonest and transparently false spin on what the numbers say and what the MPAA says. It's what everyone has learned to expect from this pro-piracy, pro-Google, anti-IP blog.

         

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          BeeAitch (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 3:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Weak.

           

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          Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Revenue was actually down in the US. The US currently lags Europe in terms of piracy enforcement, so it isn't necessarily a surprise that the rest of the world had an increase in revenue."
          This must be why internet piracy is so, so much higher outside the US than in, including in Europe. Seriously. Piracy makes up roughly double the proportion of internet traffic there as in the US.

          "Stronger piracy enforcement"... massively higher piracy rate... higher movie revenue... Why, it's enough to make a completely clueless shill's head explode!

           

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          PaulT (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 2:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah, Mr. Cherry Picker himself complaining about cherry picked facts with... cherry picked facts. Nice...

          "Revenue was actually down in the US."

          Yes it was. Slightly. As mentioned in the article. Which even the report itself admits likely has sod all to do with piracy.

          Your logical failure is the type that happens when you not only obsess with a single market, but over a single factor in that market. Those who deal with reality don't have a problem with the above figures, and the information on how to "fix" US theatrical revenue without legal sanctions is pretty clear.

          "The US currently lags Europe in terms of piracy enforcement"

          Bullshit, unless you think that France is Europe. Which, given the knowledge and logic you display elsewhere, would not surprise me in the slightest.

          "Secondly, the number of tickets sold most certainly is important; if ticket prices must be raised simply to equal the previous year's revenue"

          If the only way you can think of returning that "lost" revenue is to raise ticket prices, then you deserve to fail. Again, the way to turn the market back your way (if you imagine it's not already) is pretty clear from both the report and the outspoken demands of customers.

          "The above blog post is nothing but an intellectually dishonest and transparently false spin on what the numbers say and what the MPAA says. It's what everyone has learned to expect from this pro-piracy, pro-Google, anti-IP blog."

          You know, if you want to refute the evidence above, ad hominem attacks and blatant lies really aren't the way. Learn a new dance, monkey man.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Those numbers aren't even keeping pace with inflation; something Masnick knows, but of course chooses to not mention.

            I have no idea why douchebags like you are obsessed with trying to defend such a blatantly and intellectually dishonest person.

             

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              Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So you are saying what, exactly? I thought you were arguing that the movie industry was in crisis. How exactly does pointing out that the movie industry's revenue is exceeding actual spending power and indeed the rest of the economy help you?

              Oh right, you only take into account one half of the data when drawing your conclusions. That is a pretty good way to arrive at such a horribly ignorant position, I must admit.

               

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      Rikuo (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:53pm

      Re:

      Seriously. Why the fuck are you (and the MPAA) complaining? Your sales are up, your revenues are up...and yet you still thump your chest and go "Piracy!"
      When the member studios of the MPAA file for bankruptcy and can have 100% verifiable proof that it was due to piracy, then you and I can talk.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:39pm

        Re: Re:

        "Seriously. Why the fuck are you (and the MPAA) complaining? Your sales are up, your revenues are up...and yet you still thump your chest and go "Piracy!""

        Read the report - if it wasn't for emerging markets, dollar sales would be way down. The US and Canada dropped 4% in the last year.

        "When the member studios of the MPAA file for bankruptcy and can have 100% verifiable proof that it was due to piracy, then you and I can talk."

        Ahh, so when you get a cut, you wait until you die from it before you go see a doctor? Nice!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          way down
          and
          4%

          Your definition of "way down" and mine differ significantly. Especially during an economic recession. If that second number was 40% I might agree with you.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No you wuldn't, because you support the pirates. You defend their actions deflect the effects their actions have and ridcule and mock anyone who opposes your views.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              We made more money this year than last year, cry cry cry snivel sob...

              You mean that kind of mocking and ridicule?

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 3:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            4% is a really big number when you are talking about an industry that makes billions. That is an amount way bigger than you will ever touch in your lifetime.

            Considering that ticket sales have been sliding for many years, this is just another hit on top of many.

             

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              techflaws.org (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 4:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              4% is a really big number when you are talking about an industry that makes billions.

              The industry makes BILLIONS (with a B)? Obviously piracy can't be that damaging.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2012 @ 4:05am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Surely it is. You need to go back and review the numbers, see where the movie industry was, where it is now, and you will see the decline coming, and coming hard. Movies right now are about where music was 2 years into the Napster era. We are only really just entering the era of widespread movie piracy as a valid and timely option, and the effects will only get worse from here.

                The 4% downturn in the US, combined with the continued drop in ticket sales, is a solid indication of where things are going. Mike tries to hide this by pushing forward the "world" view, not taking the time to explain that growth in China is off the charts (35% in a year alone), as that market goes from almost nothing to full size is a short period of time. It's the old cherry picking of numbers routine. For this, Mike is a real talent.

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Mar 25th, 2012 @ 5:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Movies right now are about where music was 2 years into the Napster era"

                  I love the way you reach deep into your colon to get your ideas and then assert them as though they were truth despite the mountains of evidence against you - in the very article you're responding, no less! But, this act is tiresome. I assume it's an act because nobody can be this stupid and type as coherently as you do at the same time.

                  "The 4% downturn in the US, combined with the continued drop in ticket sales, is a solid indication of where things are going.|"

                  Toward home media, streaming and portable media? A downturn in popularity of movies and toward other forms of entertainment? A public reaction against the poor quality movies that get $200 million wasted on them? A reaction against the high prices and poor experience in the theatres compared to home viewing? A lack of a high profile blockbuster like Avatar, that will be achieved this year with The Dark Knight Rises and thus push revenue even further upwards?

                  Oh, sorry, you too idiotic to think logically if more than one idea is presented, I apologise...

                  "Mike tries to hide this by pushing forward the "world" view"

                  Yes, because God forbid you should look at the reality of the entire market rather than a cherry picked single data point. Assholes like you would rather have the US as the only market and alienate the rest of the world, hence your utter failure to understand most of the arguments.

                   

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                  PaulT (profile), Mar 25th, 2012 @ 5:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "not taking the time to explain that growth in China is off the charts (35% in a year alone)"

                  Oh, and since you're obsessed with blaming piracy for everything... do you honestly think that China has no piracy? If not, how do you explain this growth in light of your accusations that piracy is responsible for the US downturn?

                   

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                  PaulT (profile), Mar 25th, 2012 @ 5:26am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "not taking the time to explain that growth in China is off the charts (35% in a year alone)"

                  Oh, and since you're obsessed with blaming piracy for everything... do you honestly think that China has no piracy? If not, how do you explain this growth in light of your accusations that piracy is responsible for the US downturn?

                   

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                  techflaws.org (profile), Mar 25th, 2012 @ 10:59pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  not taking the time to explain that growth in China is off the charts (35% in a year alone)

                  That China that you guys constantly blame as piracy heaven? Yeah, that makes sense.

                   

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              khory, Mar 26th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Considering that ticket sales have been sliding for many years, this is just another hit on top of many."

              Do you realize that as prices go up there are people that are priced out of your product thus resulting in fewer sales? Any shrewd business knows this and prices their wares accordingly to maximize profit. Some find its better for higher volume of sales others do better by maximizing the price while keeping the reduced sales within acceptable limits. I believe the theater industry finds it is more successful with the latter, but you can't have it both ways, especially in a recession.



              "Read the report - if it wasn't for emerging markets, dollar sales would be way down. The US and Canada dropped 4% in the last year."

              So they found a way to create new sales in untapped markets. Good for them. US and Canada should be expected to be down- the economy is in the toilet and people have less money right now. I see no reason to expect entertainment spending to be up in this economic environment. Finding new markets and such is exactly what the industry should be doing to offset this.

              Also, the quality of the movies do matter. More so when people have to be more choosy about what they spend. Only 3D was down. No surprise since it costs more and many people see it as a gimmick.

               

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      Gwiz (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      ...because each time someone decides NOT to buy a movie ticket, and decides to pirate instead, they can be lost...

      And then there are those like me who decided a long time ago not to buy a movie tickets because of crappy experiences in theaters. I would have to say the last time I had an enjoyable experience in a movie theater was Aliens in the 80's. (Ok, maybe not quite - I did enjoy Tomb Raiders - but only because it was a mid-week matinee and we had the theater to ourselves). I don't pirate movies either. I simply wait for them to come out on Netflix or HBO/Showtime/Skinamax. Am I a lost sale?

       

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    •  
      icon
      Baldaur Regis (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:07pm

      Re:

      I don't know where you're getting your stats, buddy, but every professional study I've read indicates piracy is 30% down in 2011, due to Kanye West's baffling non-appearance on the Billboard 100 and to the fact that pirating the film "In Time" actually caused computers to melt.

      Do your homework, chubby.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Suja (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:09pm

      Re:

      Your sales are up even with pirates.

      You probably missed out on a few thousand dollars in POTENTIAL sales, out of the bajillions you make every year or whenever-ever.

      Boo hoo.

      You might have to hold out on that 50th gold-plated toilet in your 500 room mansion for about a week.

      Whatever shall you do? I guess you'll just shit on cold porcelain when you're in that side of the house, you poor thing you.

      HMMM maybe if you melted down some of the coin in your money bin you might have enough to get the job done, a couple coins won't hurt you. You don't need all those coins... I could help you get rid of them.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:29pm

      Re:

      Wow, you really are getting desperate. Even the stats from your own industry aren't good enough for you now.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re:

        First off, it's not "my industry". I don't work for hollywood!

        Second, while the dollar sales are up globally, almost all of that increase is coming in China, and that mostly because new movie theaters are coming on line and it's fashionable for the moment to go to the movies.

        If Mike hadn't cherry picked so much, you would see that the US and Canada dropped, and that actual ticket sales (you know, actual customer counts) continue to drop.

        Don't let the facts get in the way of your slamming of me personally or the movie industry.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          RD, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If Mike hadn't cherry picked so much, you would see that the US and Canada dropped, and that actual ticket sales (you know, actual customer counts) continue to drop."

          Once more for those in the cheap seats who apparently cant RTFA or understand the economics of business:

          NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE NUMBER OF TICKET SALES!!

          They ONLY care about REVENUE. Get this through your thick head. NO business cares about quantity of customers over quantity of REVENUE. NONE. Anywhere.

          All they would have to do is reduce ticket prices to $1 and they would have hundreds of millions of ticket sales instead of tens of millions. But they wont do that because

          IT'S

          NOT

          ABOUT

          THE

          NUMBER

          OF

          TICKETS

          SOLD.

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 3:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The number of tickets sold most certainly is important; if ticket prices must be raised simply to equal the previous year's revenue, then the fact that fewer people are buying tickets adversely affects those that are. They pay more because other people don't want to pay at all. Hardly fair.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 4:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So because I choose to rent from Redbox instead of going to the theater, that's hardly fair? My home system is superior to the theater experience.

              That's hardly fair?

              Weak.

               

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            •  
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              Niall (profile), Mar 26th, 2012 @ 5:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So 2010 was a massively bumper year, and because your masters couldn't invent something to rival Avatar they have to whine because they aren't doing so well the following year and this means they 'have to' raise ticket prices? Puh-lease!

              In related news, piano makers are still complaining that they have had made less sales again this year, because of 'pirate' competition from 'illegal' electronic keyboards.

               

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              •  
                icon
                PaulT (profile), Mar 26th, 2012 @ 5:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Meanwhile, of course, in the real world: The Hunger Games just opened to a domestic weekend gross of $155 million ($214 million worldwide), placing it as the #3 highest grossing weekend opening in history and the highest ever for a non-sequel. We're not even in the traditional blockbuster period yet, and this is a year where a lot of the expected big blockbusters have been crammed toward the back end of the year (the new Bond, Twilight and Hobbit movies currently all have November/December slots), giving more breathing room (and thus potentially more profit) for those films in the summer slots.

                But, yeah, they have to raise prices even higher because... something... Any perceived loss can't be due to poor quality product that's not deemed to present value for money in a downturned economy, no sir. This can't possibly be fixed by releasing better quality movies and giving the customer a better experience. The only way out is to further rip off those customers who still attend theatrical screenings...

                 

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            •  
              identicon
              Brandon, Mar 27th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Then what you're saying is the demand for movie tickets is going down. So according to the rules of supply and demand, shouldn't the price of tickets begin to go down as well? But that isn't happening. Wouldn't it make more sense to sell 200 tickets at $7 than 100 tickets at $10?

               

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 3:20pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            RD, if you think the number of tickets sold (aka, the number of customers you have) isn't significant, then you really need to give it up. That's just nonsense.

             

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            •  
              icon
              BeeAitch (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 4:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If ticket sales are sooo important you can always follow Mike's advice from the fucking article:
              If the goal was to maximize tickets sold, that's easy, just lower the price to a penny and watch the number of tickets sold go sky high.
              In other words, you're still wrong.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Jeremy2020 (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      So you counter numbers with the way you feel things work?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      JEDIDIAH, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:36pm

      Piracy Schmiracy...

      Piracy Schmiracy.

      The same kind of "mooching" activity can be enabled by the Netflix mail based service that's been around for more than 10 years already.

      You really don't need BitTorrent to stiff Valenti's successor.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:41pm

      Re:

      >For me, it's the reason why piracy has such a significant effect on sales of movies and music in the long run, because each time someone decides NOT to buy a movie ticket, and decides to pirate instead, they can be lost...

      So what about someone who decides not to buy a movie ticket because he isn't interested in the movie, and doesn't download it or watch its trailer, especially considering that the MPAA has been especially nasty to its potential customers?

      Oh, wait, but I know exactly how you'll respond to this statistic of individuals. You'll accuse us all of being liars and being hopelessly addicted to content we don't wish to look at.

      "First off, it's not "my industry". I don't work for hollywood!"

      Haven't you heard? Everybody works for Hollywood, thanks to Chris Dodd-brand mathematics.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      because each time someone decides NOT to buy a movie ticket, and decides to pirate instead

      Once more with feeling.....

      IT'S NOT BINARY!

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    Pfffttt…you obviously don’t it.
    With the increase in world population of course their profits are going to increase and if it wasn’t for all the piracy they would be even higher.
    /sarcasm

     

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  •  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Boo hoo hoo

    Crying studio exec:
    The pirates...[wipes wet eyes with a hundred dollar bill]
    Have taken... [Blows nose with a 500 dollar bill]
    All our business [wipes ass with a thousand]
    Whaaa whaaa.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Has anyone read about the loss of $160 million that Disney is expecting from John Carter?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:27pm

      Re:

      I heard a 200 million write off. I guess that is what they get for spending way too much on a movie no one asked for while trying to launch the career of some new little douchebag no one cares about. Don't worry though his next movie is battleship, Im sure his career will bounce back HAHAHAAH

       

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      •  
        icon
        weneedhelp (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:38pm

        Re: Re:I heard a 200 million write off (me too)

         

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      •  
        icon
        Baldaur Regis (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Re:

        RLY??? Battleship coming out as a movie? OMG!!!! High Concept! Can't wait...to pirate it.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's not based on the board game. It's an alien invasion flick.

           

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          •  
            icon
            BeeAitch (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 4:03pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Damn! And I was so looking forward to the ending line:

            You sunk my battleship!

             

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 4:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, IT IS BASED ON THE BOARD GAME. It's just the usual Hollywood "creativity" that has changed the "story" revolving around the board game INTO an alien invasion flick.

            The following are also movies in the works based on other board games (I wonder what the story lines will be changed into when presented to the viewing public):

            Monopoly
            Candy Land
            Risk
            Hungry Hungry Hippos
            Ouija
            Clue (Yep, they're remaking it. Which is ridiculous because you can't beat the original. The cast was perfect.)

            There are a couple of others I believe, but those are the ones I can list off the top of my head.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              [citation needed or GTFO], Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 6:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No! Not Clue!

              I loved Tim Curry, Martin Mull and Christopher Lloyd in them!

              Will it still be a comedy or are they going to go the emo, overly-romanticized Hollywood cliche route?

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:14pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Exactly! Great casting! That just was perfect for their respective parts.

                I have no idea to tell you the truth. I see it going either of two ways. They're going to try to top the original but make it hip, which will of course make it suck (because hip nowadays means either parodying something or playing it over the top in a "that's not actually funny" kind of way) or they're going to go with some Hollywood cliche (take your pick of which kind, but the one you mention wouldn't surprise me).

                 

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    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:35pm

      Re:

      Psst. STOP... MAKING... 250 MILLION DOLLAR MOVIES.

      Psst. STOP.. LYING.

      Psst. YOU KNOW... THE SUBSIDIARIES... DID JUST FINE.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:19pm

        Re: Re:

        The problem wasn't the films budget, the problem was the monumentally bad publicity for this movie. I saw the trailer on the previews for several movies lately and I didn't know what the movie was about until I read reviews. I wasn't familiar with the ERB books and the trailer left me wondering if it was about some Victorian era man who somehow ended up fighting monsters alongside Native Americans. After reading the reviews I really want to see it, but I doubt it will be in many theaters considering how bad ticket sales have been. It is my understanding that Disney's head of marketing left and someone new stepped in. If the horrible marketing trend continues Disney will have a really rough road ahead.

         

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        •  
          icon
          PaulT (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 2:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "The problem wasn't the films budget, the problem was the monumentally bad publicity for this movie."

          They go hand in hand, really. There were bad reviews, the trailers were terrible (making the film look like a rip-off of Avatar) and the word-of-mouth was similarly awful. Add to that a general lack of knowledge about the character in the general public, and the seeds for failure were pretty well sown.

          Despite all of that, the film is still #3 at the US box office (according to the weekly stats at boxofficemojo.com) and has grossed $183 million worldwide. At a rough estimate, it will still gross around $250 million internationally by the end of its theatrical run. If the film had cost $150 million to produce, it would at least have broken even with this figure, depending on how much they blew on advertising, and would be into profit (by non-Hollywood accounting standards at least) with DVD and other sales. But, they spent $250 million, so instead of being considered a moderate success it's now a monumental failure.

          The question for Disney is why they spent that amount of money. But, to try and pretend that a movie HAS to cost that much is rather dishonest. Sometimes, piracy has nothing to do with any losses. If you overspend on acquiring a poor quality product to sell, you risk losing money on that product. That's as true for Hollywood as it is for your local grocery.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Brandon, Mar 27th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There were commercials for it for months before the movie came out. And even with all that, and with the full trailer, I still had no idea what this movie was about until recently. It just looked like a giant CGI fest that I had no interest in seeing.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    trilobug, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    But...but...John Carter did so poorly we need our rights taken away.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Tinking, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Funee

    ho-hum

    Now the actual producers and creators and movie theater folks can finally stand to make a bit more money. These *iaa segments that stand on the shoulders of creators and assume distribution are done. When they create they release and people go see cool new stuff, simple. The days of milking the controlled flow of what has already been released are passing rapidly. Cool.

    create, release, make some dough, post a file, sell it and re-fuckin-peat! money money monay

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    ummm.... the problem isn't with people sneaking into theaters watching the show for free. It's everything else

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Cowrad, Mar 23rd, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Not the whole picture...

    I think there's some mistargeting of our analysis here. Domestic box office has been falling for years, I've long thought this is more related to cable TV, home video and now online services like iTunes, Netflix and Hulu than anything else (piracy impacts those areas more). Secondly, we are in a recession, everyone is suffering, duh!

    Third, there is some failure to see the forest for the trees here: the major media conglomerates that own the movie studios are doing better than ever, certain divisions may have declined but big media is not hurting overall.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 24th, 2012 @ 2:58am

    box office is only piece of pie

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Mar 24th, 2012 @ 8:52am

      Re: box office is only piece of pie

      Piracy
       Several economic studies, mixed results
       Cannot explain most of the decline
       Worst decline is sales
      Relatively successful MPAA anti-piracy effort

      ----------------------------------

      I love how this document says that the MPAA's anti-piracy effort has been successful in cannibalizing their sales...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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