Do You Pirate Movies That Are Currently in the Theater?

I just watched the second episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (great season so far), and I learned something that really caught me off guard, something I’d like to verify with you.

Basically, in the episode, the gang are participating in a focus group for a new movie. They’re disappointed to learn that the movie is rated PG-13 instead of R, and they’re told that the reason the studio went with a softer rating is because R-rated movies are more likely to be pirated. The gang begrudgingly admits that they’ve downloaded plenty of movies instead of going to the theater.

Now, this is a TV show, so I’m not sure how much truth is on display. That’s why I’m asking you: Do you download and watch movies that are currently in the theater? Is it widespread?

I’m completely baffled by this concept. Now, I will admit that when I was in college, Napster was in its heyday, and I watched plenty of old movies and Simpsons episodes on my computer. I don’t feel great about it in hindsight, but I did it.

Ever since then, though, I’ve been completely clean about how I get my TV shows and movies. It’s not complicated, really: I either pay for them in the theater, I pay for cable to bring the shows to me, and I pay for streaming/premium services like Netflix and HBO. It hasn’t even occurred to me since college to illegally download a movie instead of going to the theater.

But maybe I’m in the minority here–you tell me! And just to be clear, I’m trying not to be high-minded about this. I’m just looking to understand what other humans are doing in 2019.

4 thoughts on “Do You Pirate Movies That Are Currently in the Theater?”

  1. I only know one couple that does it but it throws me every time they mention it because I forget it’s even possible and I’m generally a rule follower 🙂

  2. I am a big believer in supporting those that create content you enjoy, whether it’s a video, book, music, or video game. Sales, borrowing, and renting are options if you can’t afford it. The only time I’ve ever pirated something is when there isn’t another option such as not being available in the US or a company going out of business and their content no longer being sold.

    Specifically, if I can’t wait for a movie to leave theaters, then I go see it in theaters. If I can’t afford to do that, especially since they are so expensive nowadays, then I ask for a ticket as a birthday or Christmas gift, or earn Bing rewards and claim a gift certificate. Downloading it never comes to mind!

    • I mirror your experience, i did it in college with napster, i now purchase all content and don’t pirate. And while i don’t condemn anyone that does, my passive belief if that it is stealing and you’re making things more expensive for the rest of us.

  3. I didn’t even realize that was possible! When I read the title (before reading the entry), I thought, “Of course I don’t bring a VHS recorder into the theater and record the movie! Who still does that?”


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