• 01.04.10

Equal Opportunity Hacking: Frat Boy Pirates Hit Sagging DVD Sales


Hollywood had a blockbuster year at the box office in 2009. An uptick in 3-D offerings, IMAX venues, and big-name sequels carried the sagging industry to a recession-proof $10 billion in ticket receipts. Good thing, because up-front profits are increasingly needed to offset things like on-demand programming and, especially, DVD pirating, which has eroded movie moguls’ once lucrative aftermarket. A quick look at what was being pirated in 2009 shows that the illegal rip-off trend is also gaining more and more mass appeal.


Domestically, the biggest cinematic grossers were generalist fodder like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($402 million), Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince ($302 million), and The Hangover ($277 million). But the leading illicit downloads seem be taken for mainstream viewers as well. Techie fantasy Star Trek lead the pack with nearly 11 million steals, but it was followed closely by the frat-tastic Hangover and ‘tween sensation Twilight. Below is a break down that shows what most of us probably already figured: Cyber-theft isn’t just for geeks anymore.

[Via via ChartsBin]

About the author

Ben Paynter is a senior writer at Fast Company covering social impact, the future of philanthropy, and innovative food companies. His work has appeared in Wired, Bloomberg Businessweek, and the New York Times, among other places.