A new study shows that post-release movie piracy has a positive effect on a movie’s popularity at the box office.
The study is based on hundreds of movie torrents, primarily on The Pirate Bay, as well as data from popular movie review websites.
According to the study, the increased word-of-mouth discussion that post-release piracy stimulates leads to a 3% increase in box office revenue.
Action movies, comedies, and thrillers benefit the most from post-release piracy, while dramas don’t see as much benefit.
“It is natural to focus on the downsides of piracy for movie makers – and these can be significant – but many will be interested to note that piracy can have an upside,” said Professor Shijie Lu, co-author of the study.
The study also shows that pre-release piracy causes a 11% loss in box office revenue.
This suggests that the best way to fight against movie piracy is to target leaks, rather than post-release content.