Inquiries by the Intellectual Property Awareness Foundation show 10 per cent of Australians who used to download illegally have stopped doing so.
However piracy thrives among people who refuse to pay as little as $2.99 to legally download a film, IPAF director Lori Flekser said.
“There’s a whole lot of clicking without a whole lot of thinking going on,” Ms Flekser said.
The highest-gross film in history, James Cameron’s Avatar, has been illegally downloaded more than 16 million times, according to website TorrentFreak, she added.
Palace Cinemas executive director Benjamin Zeccola said the impact on the film industry was wide-ranging.
“The ease and simplicity of (pirating films) masks the damaging effects that piracy has on film creation and jobs, from the scriptwriter at the start of the process to the ticket seller at the end and everyone in between,” Mr Zeccola said.