Pirating and downloading movies means studios can't make more, Sony claims.
Sony plans to release the upcoming film Michael Jackson's This Is It in every country tomorrow. The company said that--based on the multitudes of Jackson fans--it wouldn't make sense to distribute the film any differently. However, the company also has a secret motive concerning the film: piracy. If the movie premiered in the States first, by Thursday it would be "cammed" and distributed via BitTorrent and peer-to-peer networks.
While that will still be the case, whether the movie opens locally or world-wide, Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said that smaller movie companies that generate independent films can't afford to open globally. "When such movies are stolen, it hurts their chances of building an international audience--robbing film-makers of entire markets where stolen versions of their work have proliferated online," he said in an online blog via Times Online.
His personal statement can't be confused with anything else other than a message to those who pirate or watch pirated movies. He clearly states that online theft siphons billions of dollars out of the industry, dollars that could have been obtained had those individuals who watched pirated movies went to the theater instead. Without those funds, there's less money to make movies. Lynton even threw in a few numbers, indicating that top movie studios made 162 films: over 40 less than the number filmed in 2006, and the lowest number in a decade.
"Making a movie takes lots of money and years of effort, and always involves a huge amount of risk," he said. "Film-makers are making a big bet that the story they are telling will appeal to large audiences two or three years down the road. That comes with the territory, but rampant piracy is an additional risk that we shouldn’t have to absorb."
Read the full disclosure here.