Movie theatrical and streaming releases explode piracy

MPA Alert: Black Widow, The Suicide Squad, and Conjuring 3 have been uploaded a lot, in HD.

The CinemaCon in Las Vegas is the occasion, each year for the big studios, to teaser their big upcoming films: Sony has for example show Ghostbusters: The Legacy to the public, then the Warner Bros showed the first images of Matrix 4 Where by The Batman. It’s also a good time to take stock of current cinema, and Motion Pictures Association boss Charles Rivkin used the invitation to sound the alarm bells about film piracy.

Cited by the Wall Street Journal, he details that the phenomenon was not born with the Covid, far from it: before the epidemic, “the industry has always had to fight it”, he says, but he points out that the association of five major studios within the ACE (Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment), including Netflix, Amazon and Apple TV +, had made it possible to “greatly reduce uneven downloading” for a couple of years. He then explains that the decision of several studios to simultaneously release their films in theaters and in streaming has revived piracy. Warner Bros. and Disney are the first to hit, the first to make the move late last year, after suffering a semi-flop with Tenet on the big screen, the first blockbuster of this magnitude to be released in the midst of the global Covid-19 epidemic. Conjuring 3 and The Suicide Squad are among the most pirated films of 2021, just like Black widow, which was released on Disney Plus in parallel to American theaters, and whose revenues collapsed after its good start of 80 million dollars. As of its weekend release, this MCU super-movie was already available in HD on multiple sites in “torrent”, and illegally downloaded thousands of times. The film has also made a lot of talk this summer, following the complaint of its lead actress, Scarlett Johansson, against the studio, which she accuses of a consequent loss of earnings, because her contract included bonuses in the event of success in theaters: she had to receive significant sums with each new level acquired, but with its 180 million dollars of American revenues, the film has much less well than expected.

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