MPAA reports global box office ticket sales reached an all time high of $29.9 billion in 2009, up 7.6% from 2008, and up an even more dramatic 30% from 2005!"Ticket sales reached an all time high of $29.9 billion in 2009"
The MPAA has a knack for playing both sides of the fence. On the one hand it says that piracy is so rampant that it threatens the very existence of the motion picture and television industry, while on the other it boasts record profits year after year.
Just last December it warned members of Congress that the “industry faces the relentless challenge of the theft of its creative content, a challenge extracting an increasingly unbearable cost” in a statement praising it for providing additional funding to help law enforcement battle the piracy and theft of movies and other intellectual property.
Fast forward to today where the MPAA is boasting record profits that belie its earlier dire predictions. Its annual Theatrical Market Statistics Report for 2009 shows that global box office receipts reached an all time high of $29.9 billion, an increase of 7.6% over 2008, and almost a staggering 30% from 2005!
However, the MPAA, no doubt aware of its double-speak, tried to temper the good news. “While the motion picture industry continues to face tremendous challenges elsewhere in our business, we’re reminded again this year that the cinema is the heart and soul of our industry and it is thriving,” said Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the MPAA.
John Fithian, President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners, seems to be the only one fully cognizant of the situation. “Four straight years of box office growth– the last three each setting a new record – show the enormous appetite audiences continue to have for great and entertaining movies in the best way to enjoy them – on a big screen with a big crowd,” he said.
Exactly. Movies like “The Dark Knight” or “Wolverine,” despite being heavily pirated, were still big box office draws. Why? A PC monitor is no match for the sights and sounds of the big screen (Avatar anyone?). Fears of piracy and illegal file-sharing are simply false pretenses created by the MPAA to get members of Congress to enact legislation that increases its control over content and distribution. Its recent victory against Real Networks DVD backup software is a perfect example of this.
With sales up 30% over the last 4 years it’s hard to imagine anyone would take the MPAA’s piracy fears seriously, especially when they’re seeking ISP-level content filtering.
There are very few companies that I can think of that would think they were are in a bad way with those sales figures, but of course the music and film industry is a special case or so they would have us believe!