Illegal Film Downloads Outpace Box Office Receipts In France

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Is the piracy cloud finally hitting Hollywood?

In France, illegally-downloaded films outpaced ticket sales in May, according to figures emerging this week.  Anti-piracy group ALPA noted that 13.5 million films were illegally downloaded in May, a massive figure. “This is a major phenomenon that could endanger the cinema and audiovisual industry,” ALPA representative Frederic Delacroix warned.

So large, in fact, that it eclipses box office receipts for the month.  Reuters compared the ALPA data with figures from the National Centre  for Cinematography, which counted theater sales of 12.2 million for the month.

American films comprised two-thirds of the downloaded total, according to the ALPA study.  ALPA is planning to release a broader piracy report – spanning November, 2007 to June, 2008 – next month.  That study shows average monthly piracy levels surpassing 14 million.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio.