Estimating the Effects of Movie Piracy on Box-office Revenue
Piracy is one of the most challenging problems faced by the motion picture industry. The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that US studios lose more than $3 billion annually in box office revenue from piracy. They have launched a major effort to prevent these losses. Yet their efforts are hampered by the ex post, counterfactual, and indirect methods by which losses are usually estimated. This paper addresses these issues directly. We develop and estimate a statistical model of the effects of piracy on the box-office performance of a widely-released movie. The model discredits the argument that piracy increases sales, showing unambiguously that Internet piracy diminished the box-office revenues of a widely released motion picture. The model overcomes a major weakness of counterfactual or â€œbut for piracyâ€ methods widely used to estimate damages. These counterfactual methods violate the â€œnobody knowsâ€ principle because they forecast what the movie would have earned in the absence piracy. The model we present does not violate this basic principle of motion picture uncertainty. We estimate that pre-release and contemporaneous Internet downloads of a major studio movie accelerated its box-office revenue decline and caused the picture to lose about $40 million in revenue.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- W. Walls, 2005.
"Modeling Movie Success When ‘Nobody Knows Anything’: Conditional Stable-Distribution Analysis Of Film Returns,"
Journal of Cultural Economics,
Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 177-190, August.
- W David Walls, 2004. "Modeling movie success when "nobody knows anything": Conditional stable distribution analysis of film returns," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 409, Econometric Society.
- David Maddison, 2004. "Increasing returns to information and the survival of broadway theatre productions," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(10), pages 639-643.
- Arthur De Vany & W. Walls, 1999. "Uncertainty in the Movie Industry: Does Star Power Reduce the Terror of the Box Office?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 285-318, November.
- W. David Walls, 1997. "Increasing returns to information: evidence from the Hong Kong movie market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(5), pages 287-290.
- De Vany, Arthur S. & Walls, W. David, 2004. "Motion picture profit, the stable Paretian hypothesis, and the curse of the superstar," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1035-1057, March.
- Chris Hand, 2001. "Increasing returns to information: further evidence from the UK film market," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(6), pages 419-421.
- De Vany, Arthur S & Walls, W David, 1997. "The Market for Motion Pictures: Rank, Revenue, and Survival," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 783-97, October.
- De Vany, Arthur & Lee, Cassey, 2001. "Quality signals in information cascades and the dynamics of the distribution of motion picture box office revenues," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 593-614, March.
- De Vany, Arthur & Walls, W David, 1996. "Bose-Einstein Dynamics and Adaptive Contracting in the Motion Picture Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1493-1514, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:30:y:2007:i:4:p:291-301. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.