Oscar-Nominated Movie Piracy Costs Millions

Some Oscar-nominated movies have seen a sharp rise in piracy since their nominations.

Over $40 million has been lost from 2.04 million illegal downloads of big Oscar-nominated movies -- from around 25,000 per day on January 1 to around 325,000 on February 10 and 250,000 on February 14, according to media protection company Irdeto.

“American Sniper” -- easily the biggest box office-grossing movie of all those movies nominated for best picture -- lost a potential $24.3 million; “The Imitation Game,” some $8.1 million; “Wild,” $3.25 million; “Selma,” $2.6 million; “Still Alice,” $1.8 million; and “Whiplash,” $617,000.

Irdeto says its calculations were made by taking the total number of illegal downloads (via screeners) for nominated films without a retail release and multiplying it by the typical cost ($19.99) of a new Blu-ray disc. 

It adds: “Not all illegal downloads can be considered a lost sale, this is an estimate of potential revenue had the films been made available for retail purchase.”

By way of comparison, Rentrak says “American Sniper” has pulled in $306.5 million in U.S. box office results so far, and “The Imitation Game,” $79.7 million. Other box office estimates show that “Selma” has pulled in $48.7 million; “Wild,” $36.9 million; “Whiplash,” $10.4 million; “Still Alice,” $4.6 million.

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