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 »

As much as we’re all fans of the theatrical experience, Hollywood is always fighting off its rivals. Recently, there’s been a lot of talk about premium video on demand, a service that allows viewers to see movies in their homes only two months after they’re released in theaters, but that’s simply the latest contender for the throne. Piracy is always a big worry, though some studios have found innovative ways to try and use that data. Random streaming sites pop up online too but now, new Google data suggests the biggest competitor for your home entertainment dollar remains the tried and true Netflix. Searches for “Netflix” have been rising exponentially in the past few months while other terms have steadily decreased or plateaued. See the infographic and more after the break. Read More »

This Thursday, DirecTV is launching a revolutionary new service called Home Premiere which will allow subscribers to view movies just two months after they open in theaters. Not only is the National Association of Theater Owners strongly opposed to this, we recently surmised that it could just be the next step in the total and utter death of movie going as we know it. Today, twenty-three high profile Hollywood filmmakers agree.

Why on earth would you give audiences an incentive to skip the highest and best form of your film? My films aren’t going to the home early, but many will, and that will weaken the movie theater industry—and then my movies are threatened.

That’s the sentiment of James Cameron, the director of the two highest grossing films of all time. He and Peter Jackson, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro, Roland Emmerich, Jon Landau, Shawn Levy, Michael Mann, Todd Phillips, Brett Ratner, Adam Shankman, Gore Verbinski and Robert Zemeckis are part of the roster of filmmakers who have signed a letter expressing the creative community’s problems with this service. Read it in full after the jump. Read More »

What Are The Most Pirated TV Shows of 2010?

Earlier this month we published the list of the most pirated movies of 2010. Today we bring you the listing of the most pirated television series of 2010.  The number one show seems pretty obvious to me…  Any guesses? See the full list after the jump.

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What Was The Most Pirated Movie of 2010?

TorrentFreak has compiled a list of the most pirated movies of 2010. So which film takes the top honor?

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There are few issues in media more contentious than piracy. End users want everything for free, and because it is often possible to get quite a lot for free, a lot of justification goes on to defend the practice. Content owners become incensed when they see revenue streams closed off, and respond with outrageous lawsuits and protective practices that are frustrating to pirates and paying customers alike.

Warner Bros. seems to be taking a different path to dealing with piracy, accepting that it is is going to happen, and collecting data about how the company’s content is shared for use as market research. In other words, there’s an understanding that piracy patterns reflect what customers want. A forward-thinking approach to piracy from a major studio? Shocking! Read More »

Vampires Suck

In February, I reported that Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, the screenwriting/directing team credited with ruining the spoof movie genre (Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie, Scary Movie series, Date Movie) were filming a new movie in Shreveport, LA under the working title “LA Art Movie”. We were the first to reveal at the time that the movie was not a spoof on the indie film genre (a la Chris Gore’s 2005 movie My Big Fat Independent Movie) but actually something spoofing Twilight and the recent Vampire trend. 20th Century Fox has finally released a trailer for Vampires Suck, which is set to hit theaters on August 18th 2010.

Also, /Film reader Garn B informs me that the entire movie has already leaked onto the bit torrent websites. While I can’t verify this claim (I’m not going to illegally download a movie to find out), I have seen references to the film on multiple Torrent sites along with screencaptures which seem to prove its existence. You would think 20th Century Fox would have learned with X-Men Origins: Wolverine to take the extra security precautions to prevent a workprint leak online, but guess not. As always, we advise anyone reading this not to illegally download the movie (and not just because it looks horrible, and it isn’t likely worth watching — even for free).

You can watch the trailer legally, and for free, embedded after the jump.  I’m still not quite sure why a vampire spoof is filled with jokes about Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, the television show the Jersey Shore, and Lady Gaga. But why question the motives or logic behind Seltzer and Friedberg now?
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A few months ago, U.S. Copyright Group tried to sue over 20,000 people for downloading indie films such as Uwe Boll’s Far Cry. Seeing some modest success with that plan, they arranged to follow it up with a new lawsuit, targeting people who had downloaded The Hurt Locker. The original idea was to use software to track down the IP addresses of people downloaded these films over bittorrent networks. The Group would provide the IP addresses to Internet service providers (e.g. Comcast, Time Warner Cable, etc.) and subpoena them to turn over downloaders’ real names and addresses. These people would then be offered the opportunity to settle for a modest sum of money. Refusal would result in a lawsuit.

It’s a classic, time-honored way of ruthlessly extracting money from people that want your product, used by the RIAA back in its golden years. But it turns out, Time Warner Cable isn’t too happy with the plan.
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