Hobbit Unexpected Journey Bilbo

For illegal downloaders, the biggest film of 2013 wasn’t a 2013 film at all, but a big-budget fantasy epic from late 2012. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey topped the list of the most pirated movies of the past twelve months, beating out the likes of Django Unchained, Fast & Furious 6, and Iron Man 3.

The massively budgeted, insanely popular Hobbit is a far less surprising “winner” than last year’s champion, the found-footage party comedy Project X. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few unusual results among the top 10 — like Gangster Squad, the little-seen, little-talked-about crime drama from January. Hit the jump to check out the list.

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Anchorman 2 Ron Burgundy

San Diego’s most famous news anchor, Ron Burgundy, is Team Television. He doesn’t care much about the cinema and believes TV is the truest form of entertainment. Which is why, in a brand new public service announcement, he gets a little confused when telling people about piracy. Hookers are mentioned, pirates are mentioned and Burgundy is confused, and displeased. Check out the new video below. Read More »

Pirates of the Caribbean

It’s generally accepted as fact that online piracy is bad for the movie business. Each illegal download means, theoretically, one fewer ticket or DVD sold, which means the cast, crew, and everyone else involved is being cheated out of fair pay for their hard work.

Except, according to one recent study, that conventional logic may actually only apply to blockbusters. The authors conclude that for smaller films, piracy is actually beneficial, likely because more pirates watching means more pirates spreading buzz.

Not surprisingly, this finding doesn’t sit well with everyone in the business. The Motion Picture Association of America has now responded with a dismissal, insisting that the study’s results “aren’t entirely clear” and are based on “total speculation.” Hit the jump to read both sides of the argument.

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Who doesn’t love the FBI Warning in front of your movies? There’s nothing quite like renting or buying a movie legally, sitting down with your family, and then having an intimidating warning pop on screen to scare you from any kind of unlicensed reproduction. And if that wasn’t bad enough, starting this week, DVDs will be getting an updated FBI Warning as well as a second Anti-Piracy warning before all movies. See both screens and more after the jump. Read More »

One of the big questions in the battle over piracy is exactly how much damage is actually being done. The MPAA and the RIAA, naturally, claim to be losing staggering amounts of revenue thanks to piracy. As this new TED Talk from Listen.com/Rhapsody founder Rob Reid shows, however, there could be a big difference between actual, cold-hard-facts math and what he calls their “©opyright Math™.” For example, did you know that your iPod Classic is capable of holding $8 billion in stolen goods, as estimated by the RIAA? Hit the video for his hilarious 5-minute lecture, in which he demonstrates just how off-base some of these numbers could be.

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For the past several years, the movie industry has been up in arms about online piracy and its potential to harm box office returns. It’s not a totally unreasonable fear; given the choice between shelling out $12.50 for a ticket to the latest middling sci-fi blockbuster sequel and downloading it for free online, it’s easy to imagine plenty of people going with the latter. However, a new study suggests that piracy doesn’t actually have an effect on the U.S. box office. Piracy may, however, take a toll in international markets, especially if there’s a long delay between the U.S. theatrical release and the international one. More details after the jump.

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When streaming content gets better and more abundant every single day, it’s pretty obvious we’re living in the streaming renaissance. What might have began with YouTube and Netflix is continually expanding, minute by minute, leading one Hollywood CEO to say that online distribution monopolies are a greater threat to the movie industry than piracy.

In other news, XBox Live will soon get a large quantity of streaming channels this holiday season and Hulu has just signed a deal to broadcast content from Univision, the popular Spanish language station. There’s more on all of these stories after the jump. Read More »

As much as moviegoers, filmmakers and theater owners try and try, the fight against piracy seems to be a losing one. People can take all the precautions in the world but there’s always going to be one person who pirates a movie, uploads it online and then it spreads like wildfire. Now the pirates would let you believe this is their right and what they’re doing doesn’t hurt the bottom line. They believe they’re a small minority. The Motion Picture Association of America would disagree with that and have put out their own infographic to let everyone know just how much content theft hurts the entertainment industry. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

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