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Comment here's what I have a problem with... (Score 2, Insightful) 1169

Movie pirating cost the industry $18.2 billion worldwide in 2005, the last year for which figures were available, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Moviegoers are increasingly carrying cellphones, digital cameras and other devices capable of recording.

Total bullshit. Pirating didn't cost the movie industry anywhere near 18.2 billion dollars, and anyone who believes those absurd numbers is a fool or a congressman.

In reality, it's coming from a much thinner slice of everyone's entertainment dollar, extrapolated over some imaginary numbers to get a huge number that makes people scared. Follow up with a few million dollars thrown around to the right congressmen (shockingly less than $300k per lawmaker that gets a bribe, er campaign contribution), and you suddenly have legitimacy for a very fake number.

Movie receipts are up. Theaters are doing better than ever these days, primarily thanks to something we never saw at a theater before... 10+ minutes worth of real commercials before the show. Remember when you went to a movie and the screen was blank for 20 minutes, then the trailers happened and then the movie? Hah! Now, you get some form of 20 minutes of semi-entertainment features ("the 20" or "screenvision" or whatever your brand has) which is saturated with advertisements. Then the commercials before the trailers, which at worst used to be an advertisement for the concession stand, now it's a cellphone ad, a mountain dew ad, a car ad and who knows what else, the same as you'd see on television. Pure profit for the theater owners with a captive audience that they can measure almost exactly.

Did the price of a movie ticket go down? Absolutely not, I'm sure it's been steadily climbing in very tiny increments (.25 here, .50 there) and so do the concession prices. We all know that your average carbonated beverage costs at most $.25 per liter, yet in the magical boundaries of a movie theater a large beverage (free refills!) will run you $4+. Popcorn? $4 for even a small bag of popcorn that won't even last through the previews.

So, the price of entertainment keeps going up. We don't devote all of our free resources to the same source of entertainment, especially when the quality of the product isn't necessarily consistent.

If a guy has $100/mo he can devote to entertainment 5 years ago, lets assume that he gets a %5 raise every year, and can still devote the same portion of money to entertainment today. Guy has a whole $25 extra per month to spend on things. (this is assuming that at some point Guy didn't decide to buy a house, a new car, start a family, move across the country or discover a new hobby of course and we're assuming that Guy is still quite boring and does the same things today as he did 5 years ago). 5 Years ago, a movie might have cost $6-7, now it's $10-11. A CD was $12-15, now it's $16-17. DVD movies, $15 before, now $20. Even video games that were previously $40-50, are now $50-60. All of the things you spend your entertainment dollar on, are increasing their prices much higher and faster than the rate of advancement for most people's income. So what happens? People stop buying as much of some things. Less video games, less movies, less music, etc.

Unfortunately, the reaction to their own price increases and lowered value is to blame piracy.

"Ninety percent of recently released films that are pirated are done by camcording in movie theaters," said Kori Bernards, a spokeswoman for the Motion Picture Association of America. "It's happening all over.

Okay, so it's happening. We've got it. We saw it on Seinfeld 10 years ago, and it was clever then, now it's not. But is it doing anything? Are the kind of people who download a crap looking handheld camera recording of a movie really the kind of person who's actually going to pay $10 to see the movie at the theater? I've never met the person who's said that they'd rather sit at home and watch a grainy/off-color crappy downloaded movie over the version in the theater.

It's time to call people out on their bullshit and make them own up to the facts that any "loss" on the part of any entertainment industry is solely based on increasing prices that don't correspond with the amount of money people are making, combined with rising prices from every other avenue of entertainment.

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