The MPAA tends to leave no opportunity unused in its quest to show that online piracy is devastating the movie industry. However, this supposed devastation is not visible at the box office this year. In 2012 North American movie theaters showed more movies than ever before, and for the first time in history domestic box office grosses surpassed $10.7 billion The new record comes in a year where two academic studies have shown that “piracy” isn’t necessarily hurting box office revenues .
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A new academic paper by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College has examined the link between BitTorrent downloads and box office returns. Contrary to what’s often claimed by the movie industry, the researchers conclude that there is no evidence that BitTorrent piracy hurts US box office returns. Internationally, there is a link between downloads and revenues, which the researchers attribute to long release windows.