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Pirated DVDs and illegal net downloads are costing the US movie industry a staggering $6.1bn annually in "global wholesale revenues", according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The total - estimated by El Reg as the equivalent of a breast augmentation and facelift for every man, woman and child in California, or the special effects budget for a single Peter Jackson film - is "75 per cent higher than earlier estimates", Reuters notes.

These blockbusting stats were put together by LEK Consulting LLC during an 18-month, $3m study conducted in 28 countries. Suspicious readers may already have already guessed that it was commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America.

The main culprit in reducing Hollywood to miserable penury is apparently Mexico - "the world's largest market for pirated US films" - representing "$483m in lost revenue in 2005". ®

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