"Contagion" isn't available on Netflix and other streamers, but visits to piracy sites in January for the movie rapidly grew.
- The 2011 movie "Contagion," about a pandemic, is increasing in popularity due to the coronavirus, which has spread to at least 88 countries and killed more than 3,300 people.
- "Contagion" was the seventh most popular movie on iTunes on Friday.
- Visits to piracy websites for the movie rapidly increased in January, according to the piracy analytics company MUSO.
- Rebecca Katz, director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, told NPR last month that she shows the movie's ending to students "to show the interconnectedness between animals, the environment, and humans."
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The movie "Contagion" was released in 2011, but it's rising in popularity above films released this year.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, and more, "Contagion" is about a pandemic that threatens humanity. In recent weeks, it's raced up the iTunes charts and has increased in piracy because of the coronavirus, which has spread to at least 88 countries and killed more than 3,300 people.
On Friday, "Contagion" was the seventh most popular movie on iTunes. Every other movie in the top 20 was released in 2019.
According to the piracy analytics company MUSO, "Contagion" increased from 546 visits to piracy streaming sites on January 7 to a whopping 30,418 visits on January 30, when coronavirus concerns had reached a high level.
"Although not an especially high number compared to the piracy numbers for blockbuster titles, the average daily visits for 'Contagion' increased by an astonishing 5,609% in January 2020 compared to December 2019," MUSO CEO Andy Chatterley wrote for Forbes.
"Contagion" isn't currently available on Netflix or other streamers, but is available to rent or buy from iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, Vudu, and more.
Not all of the science of the movie is plausible. In 2011, after the movie's release, experts from the Centers for Disease Control shot down some of the movie's fictional scenarios for PBS NewsHour, including developing a vaccine so quickly.
But experts did say that the depiction of the movie's virus reaching humans through animal encounters is a likely scenario.
"Contact with bats (or contact with intermediate animal hosts that acquired infection from bats) is a common theme among some recent emerging human infections," the CDC told NewsHour.
Rebecca Katz, director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, told NPR last month that she shows the movie's ending to students "to show the interconnectedness between animals, the environment, and humans."
The movie's writer, Scott Burns, told The New York Times that people have been asking him questions about the coronavirus on social media.
"I'm alarmed when people choose to ask a screenwriter for advice, rather than a doctor," he told The Times.