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.
You've got movie2k, Potlucker, videoweed etc etc just to name a few.
this is a failed attempt at an AD disguise as a "research article".
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.