Now, I know a lot of people who are guilty of this, and I continue to tell them on a regular basis they need to stop. But, the real question is, is the piracy the culprit for movies bombing at the box office, lack of marketing, insane amounts of money some actors/actresses get paid, or is it the movies were just that bad?
I won't get into movies that were just "bad". As we all have movies that we believed the previews were better than the movie itself.
We'll start with movies that flopped due to bad marketing.
John Carter was a great movie, that had the potential to be an awesome but there was next to no marketing done, and if there was marketing done, it was done poorly. I saw a poster for this movie, and that was it. It had a budget of $250,000,000 and only made $284,139,100 worldwide, after you figure marketing and how much making dvd's, they would have had to make $600 million in ticket sales alone just to break even.
The Iron Giant
A wonderful light-hearted Disney comedy that didn't get the marketing it deserved because Disney didn't take their own film seriously. Because it didn't get the marketing it needed, and with a budget of approx $60 million, it bombed, making only $31 million.
Mars Needs Moms
Now, I remember seeing a preview or 2 about this movie, but that was it. This movie was considered to be the 2nd biggest flop in history, with a budget of $150 million and grossing only $39 million. The only movie to surpass it would be 47 Ronin with a loss of approx $150 million.
One of the highest paid actors in hollywood. Now, in his defense, he donated almost all his earnings from The Matrix, to the Wachowski brothers, but was still paid $30 million for the 2nd and 3rd installments to the films.
Then there's Tom Cruise, who gets paid an insane amount because, well, he's Tom Cruise. Most of his movies bring in $100+ million a film because people will go see it simply because he's in it, regardless of whether it's good or not.
Another highly paid actor is Bruce Willis, although in his defense, he does do all of his own stunts, at least, he used to, at his age now I don't know if he still does, but if he does more power to him. He made $14 million for The Sixth Sense, and there was no real special effects or any need for a stunt double or any stunts really.
Each year, movies get downloaded millions of times before the movie itself ever even hits the shelf. A great example is the newly released [The Expendables 3](movie:388705). Reported to have 2.2 million illegal downloads. At ticket prices for the movies being approx $10 a piece, that's $22 million in losses right off the top, that doesn't include the amount of DVD sales they'll lose. that doesn't include the amount of money movie theaters will lose in ticket sales, concessions etc. And that's just ONE movie. Imagine that throughout a whole year.
An average of roughly 4 per month are released in theaters. And though not all of them are going to have 2.2 million illegal downloads, lets assume they all have 100,000 illegal downloads. That's 400K illegal downloads per month, which adds up to 4.8 million illegal downloads in a year, at roughly $10 per ticket, that's $48 million in JUST ticket sales. That doesn't include dvd sales, nor the amount theaters lose in concession sales.
Who knows, maybe it's a combination of all of the above. But the largest part of the pie goes to Piracy, rounding out in approx. $20 BILLION in lost sales each year, because when you pirate a movie, you're not only hurting the actors (even IF they can afford it) but what about the poor schmuck who cleans up the mess after a movie is finished shooting for a day, or the guy who holds the camera, or the guy who edits the movie, or the person who does the marketing. What about the poor kid who works at a movie theater as a first job, who get stuck with minimum wage so the theater can just break even?? The same can be said for the Music and Gaming industry as well.
So if you download illegally, next time you go to download something, think of the little guy you're hurting, instead of being selfish, don't download it, just go and see it.