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Research: Megaupload Shutdown Impacted Box Office Sales

By - Source: TorrentFreak | B 32 comments

Researchers from the Munich School of Management and the Copenhagen Business School suggest that the shutdown of Megaupload had an impact on box office sales.

The research investigated box office sales over a five-year period covering 1,344 released movies in 49 countries. According to their findings, overall movie revenues decreased following the shutdown, but smaller and major movie releases were affected in different ways:

"[…] the shutdown had a negative, yet in some cases insignificant effect on box office revenues." Not all movies were negatively affected: "For blockbusters (shown on more than 500 screens) the sign is positive (and significant, depending on the specification)."

The finding that blockbusters were positively affected by the Megaupload shutdown opens the door for a wide range of speculation, without any clear-cut explanation. However, the researchers offered this version:

"Our counterintuitive finding may suggest support for the theoretical perspective of (social) network effects where file-sharing acts as a mechanism to spread information about a good from consumers with zero or low willingness to pay to users with high willingness to pay. The information-spreading effect of illegal downloads seems to be especially important for movies with smaller audiences."

If that is the case, then we could conclude that the word-of-mouth engine promoted by Megaupload especially benefited smaller productions that don't have access to the marketing resources of larger movies.

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  • 17 Hide
    Deadboy90 , November 27, 2012 6:37 PM
    How did they determine that Megauploads shutdown affected blockbuster movies? Perhaps the public was just more keen to go see a movie in a theatre than they were for seeing them before the shutdown. Theres really no objective way to measure this.
  • 12 Hide
    unoriginal1 , November 27, 2012 6:42 PM
    Agreed with deadboy90... To me it always seems like movies go in cycles. About 2 years of crap movies and 1 year of ones I actually want to see. Plus it's not like Megavideo was the only site that hosted pirated copies...
    You've got movie2k, Potlucker, videoweed etc etc just to name a few.
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    Deadboy90 , November 27, 2012 6:37 PM
    How did they determine that Megauploads shutdown affected blockbuster movies? Perhaps the public was just more keen to go see a movie in a theatre than they were for seeing them before the shutdown. Theres really no objective way to measure this.
  • 12 Hide
    unoriginal1 , November 27, 2012 6:42 PM
    Agreed with deadboy90... To me it always seems like movies go in cycles. About 2 years of crap movies and 1 year of ones I actually want to see. Plus it's not like Megavideo was the only site that hosted pirated copies...
    You've got movie2k, Potlucker, videoweed etc etc just to name a few.
  • 1 Hide
    drwho1 , November 27, 2012 6:44 PM
    Although I would like to see Megaupload back somehow...
    this is a failed attempt at an AD disguise as a "research article".
  • 9 Hide
    demonhorde665 , November 27, 2012 6:53 PM
    most files on mega upload were legit user s posting stuff they created , how f--- does that affect box office sells , this is just a shallow attempt to make mega upload look more important in the pirating scene than it was. if the site was sucha huge pirating tool then WHY did many professors in my school. direct student's there to uplaod large files the school site couldnt handle .. my school was FOR GAME ART DESIGN !!!!! if the site was that big of a pirate place they'd not have recomemended it, as the gaming industry is even more notorious for fighting piracy than mpaa is .
  • 6 Hide
    Jerky_san , November 27, 2012 7:20 PM
    I gotta admit megaupload wasn't exactly legitimate but all the stuff coming out about the FBI's handling of this smells incredibly bad..
  • 3 Hide
    goodguy713 , November 27, 2012 7:34 PM
    how can they say it was not related to the economic conditions around the theaters them selves .. not every one has money to blow on movies and 15 dollar popcorn n drinks
  • -3 Hide
    foody , November 27, 2012 7:36 PM
    I've literally been saying this about pirating for years.
  • -5 Hide
    lamorpa , November 27, 2012 7:46 PM
    demonhorde665most files on mega upload were legit user s posting stuff they created...

    Cute. Blind naivety always is.
  • 2 Hide
    ridri , November 27, 2012 7:50 PM
    Have to wonder how much the global recession skewed these numbers as they seem to cover the same time period.
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 27, 2012 7:56 PM
    demonhorde665, just because your school used megaupload doesn't mean megaupload wasn't a huge hub for piracy. Your school (and the gaming industry) can be anti-piracy and still happen to use the same data server that pirates use. I seriously doubt that your school will struggle to find a different (and more legitimate) file server for the scale that they need.

    Even though this particular article is nearly as bad as some others, it's embarrassing how Tom's Hardware floats so many stories that implicitly mock the fight against piracy. Perhaps it's because so many of its readers (and writers, I'm sure) actively participate in illegally downloading and sharing content, and would like to continue doing so. Somehow the concept of downloading someone else's hard work illegally is not viewed in the same light as stealing a cd box from a store.
  • -4 Hide
    Abion47 , November 27, 2012 8:17 PM
    demonhorde665most files on mega upload were legit user s posting stuff they created , how f--- does that affect box office sells , this is just a shallow attempt to make mega upload look more important in the pirating scene than it was. if the site was sucha huge pirating tool then WHY did many professors in my school. direct student's there to uplaod large files the school site couldnt handle .. my school was FOR GAME ART DESIGN !!!!! if the site was that big of a pirate place they'd not have recomemended it, as the gaming industry is even more notorious for fighting piracy than mpaa is .


    The gaming industry couldn't care less about MegaUpload's piracy, since it was pirating movies not games.
  • 1 Hide
    infernocy , November 27, 2012 9:13 PM
    This is pure bs -- i am pretty sure that 90% of people who downloaded photoshop never actually used -- how do you know that the users who download this stuff actually use them and in what way does this effect them .... there are so many unis and so many organizations that need to have original versions so they still sell their products ... what this did is damage the users who used it as storage and it was a very good way to transfer stuff ... this is exactly the same as the stories they came up with drugs -- the neighbor reports that their is noise coming from the next house and the cops find by accident that they have drugs and come up with the whole story we have been investigating this case for months ....
  • -3 Hide
    blakbird24 , November 27, 2012 9:43 PM
    Am I missing something, or is everyone here misinterpreting this article? The article I just read said that box office sales appear to have DECREASED after the shutdown of Megaupload. Yet everyone here is bitching like this is propanganda to support the MPAA's efforts. Sounds to me like the MPAA would have liked to have kept this news under wraps.
  • -1 Hide
    Trialsking , November 27, 2012 10:25 PM
    blakbird24Am I missing something, or is everyone here misinterpreting this article? The article I just read said that box office sales appear to have DECREASED after the shutdown of Megaupload. Yet everyone here is bitching like this is propanganda to support the MPAA's efforts. Sounds to me like the MPAA would have liked to have kept this news under wraps.


    Remember this is Tom's. If you have read some of the unintelligible comments you will see that reading comprehension isn't a highly valued skill here.
  • 0 Hide
    weaselman , November 27, 2012 10:37 PM
    Round, and round we go. where it will stop nobody knows.
    The good old Mpaa, I would like to ask them for example why they have not chewed the asses off on makers of DVD drives since they provided the means and hardware allowing for the potential for it to be miss used, copy a medium such as a dvd film. You know its crazy world, did anyone ever invent a dual deck record player to copy a record and provide the blank medium to do it ?
    Why do you think that was ? Tape deck with record function, oh crap someone can record a record to tape now! boom why do you think record sales started to decline may I ask ? we gave them the means to do it. you may Laugh but the logic is right. Dvd`s now Blu ray. And to cap it off a world wide medium to spread it on. because you created the devices to make it so. But there that thick they start at the bottom before they work out the way to stop it.
    And the end result blame the people. They will learn.

  • 0 Hide
    merikafyeah , November 28, 2012 3:47 AM
    drwho1Although I would like to see Megaupload back somehow... this is a failed attempt at an AD disguise as a "research article".

    An ad for what? A service that's been offline for about a year and is likely to never return because it's trapped in legal limbo?
  • 0 Hide
    ianpac , November 28, 2012 5:04 AM
    Makes no sense. If people are downloading illegally then they would simply shift to another site when Megaupland closed. The premise is silly
  • 0 Hide
    drenyx , November 28, 2012 5:09 AM
    How about either a coincidental 'no one has money to afford $12 to go see a movie' ... or 'I'm not paying $12 to go see a movie so that $12 can end up in some laywer's pocket
  • 0 Hide
    Someone Somewhere , November 28, 2012 9:02 AM
    merikafyeahAn ad for what? A service that's been offline for about a year and is likely to never return because it's trapped in legal limbo?


    An ad from whoever runs the whole anti-piracy crusade.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , November 28, 2012 11:29 AM
    Someone SomewhereAn ad from whoever runs the whole anti-piracy crusade.

    Read the article again, slower.
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