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The Hobbit: An Expected Voyage (into pirate territory)

This period is perfect for various reflections, and judging by 2013, which was a mixed bag for many of us, not all thoughts are positive.

It seems that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has just snagged the top price:

The Most Pirated Film of the Year Award!

Erm, congrats?

It seems that there were about 8.4 million illegal downloads in 2013.

See, I knew I should have resisted the urge and just waited patiently for the DVD, then there’d be 8 399 999 downloads…


Is this worrying? Sure.

But judging by my own pirate behaviour, many of those went on to pump a lot of their money into the Tolkien/Jackson machine.

Aye, come to think of it, that stream from AgzyM to Middle Earth (and Sir PJ’s Hobbit hole) is still flowing and will likely do so well into  2015 and beyond.

A good percentage of that 8.4 million are people who probably wouldn’t have spent money seeing the film anyway, these are the people who don’t mind poor quality and sound as long as there’s something happening on-screen.

It’s also not like the movie turned out to be a box-office bomb- a sunken chest with no booty.

We seem to compulsively compare Desolation of Smaug with AUJ, let’s see how it fairs up this this particular category  throughout 2014…

About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

3 responses »

  1. That’s fascinating. I’m in huge company, then, but I also paid to see it more than a dozen times and bought both the DVD and the EE DVD.

    What interests me about it was that PJ’s explicit statement about this film and the future of film in general is that it has to be something that people are willing to go to the theaters and pay a decent/premium price for. This statistic would seem to question that argument. Plenty of people are willing to see it under less than optimal circumstances. If you estimate one viewing for each piracy and $10 per viewing, we’re talking $80 million lost. To me that suggests that something about the price is wrong.

    • Well a little under 20 GBP in London is insane. We paid around 30 PLN each for 48FPS so that’s around 10 USD which isn’t bad. I’m not sure price is the problem, it’s the availability. For example tonight I shall be streaming the first episode of season 3 of Sherlock. I can’t really wait a month or so till it’s shown here on TV as by tomorrow the whole episode will be chopped up into gifs. I will buy the DVD when it’s out, but in the meantime being naughty is the only way to go.
      Anyway, if you think about earning a billion, 80m hardly seems like something Jackson would spend sleepless nights over.

      • I think $80M is a low estimate, just b/c as you note $10 US is probably low (that’s what it costs here in the middle of nowhere, but I assume it’s more like $15 in the city where I live), and also because one person seems like a low number to watch per download — 2 or 3 seems more realistic (multiple viewers or more than one view). It could easily be $240M lost if you calculated that way and that would be 20 percent of gross.

        I agree availability is an issue, too; I never understood why we couldn’t stream Spooks right along with England. I know that the bittorrent numbers for pirated tv fell a lot once they started addressing that with other series.


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