Saturday, January 9, 2010

‘Avatar’ Commandeers Film Piracy Record; New York Times, 1/6/10

Dave Itzkoff, New York Times; ‘Avatar’ Commandeers Film Piracy Record:

"As “Avatar” knocks down box office records, the film has hit another, less estimable milestone: it has become the fastest-pirated movie, according to one tracking firm’s figures. The Times of London reported that “Avatar,” starring Zoë Saldana, right, was illegally downloaded 500,000 times in the first two days of its release and 980,000 times in the first week, citing figures from the Web site, which tracks usage of the file-sharing tool BitTorrent. In the days leading up to the film’s release last month, its director, James Cameron, seemed confident that the 3-D effects would essentially make it immune to piracy, telling The Times of London, “You can pirate a 3-D movie, but you can’t pirate it in 3-D, so you can’t bottle that 3-D experience.” But the numbers seem to tell a different story: “Avatar” was illegally downloaded far more often than its closest competitor, the “Twilight” sequel “New Moon,” which was downloaded 610,000 times in its first week of release. Still, 20th Century Fox, which released “Avatar,” seemed unconcerned that piracy would hurt box office grosses, which last weekend surpassed $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales. “Bootleg copies are unlikely to have much impact,” a studio spokesman told The Times of London. “Seeing the movie in 3-D in a cinema offers an experience that cannot be replicated.”"

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