About this movie piracy thing killing the industry…

Every time you turn around some movie exec or entertainment lobbyist is proclaiming how all the talk of free and evil people downloading illegal copies of movies is killing the movie business.

Yet it seems that just as quickly we hear stats after stats about how the current year has been one of the best. Blockbuster after blockbuster rolls through towns and cities making millions upon millions of dollars.

It turns out that 2009 is shaping up to be a year that will be breaking box office records that were set back in 2006. In a public relations release Sony Pictures announced that they have already passed the $1.634 billion mark.

The year has been driven by the success of a number of breakthrough hits in the international marketplace. The studio’s most recent blockbuster is 2012, from director Roland Emmerich, which opened this past weekend to more than $165 million internationally ($230.4 million worldwide) and has yet to open in such markets as Japan, where it is expected to perform solidly.

Also contributing to the overseas record is Columbia Pictures’ Angels & Demons, which opened in May and has taken in over $352 million in foreign markets. Sony Pictures Releasing International distributed Terminator Salvation in many overseas countries, taking in $220.6 million in SPRI’s territories. District 9 proved popular around the world, too, taking in $88 million overseas, including $67.7 million from SPRI territories. Columbia’s The Ugly Truth, a modestly budgeted comedy, took in more than $112 million from international audiences (and still going). Finally, Michael Jackson fans around the world have driven Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT to $155.2 million internationally so far and more than $222 million worldwide.

Talk about talking out of both sides of your mouth. On one hand we have the business being destroyed by evil downloaders but on the other they are making more money than in the history of the business.