Illegal downloading of films in France has reached 450,000 per day according to a report by anti-piracy association ALPA.

The figure represents the same level as box-office entries, the report said. Speaking to wire service Agence France Presse, Frederic Delacroix, the director of ALPA, said, 'We are facing a major phenomenon that could endanger the film and television industry. We did not expect such figures.'

The study was conducted during the period November 2007 to June 2008 and focused on Internet traffic emanating from France towards foreign networks that allow for illegal peer-to-peer downloading. Despite a monthly average of 14m illegal downloads, only 40% of the requests are fulfilled, ALPA found.

As at the box-office, Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis, was number one among illegal downloads at a rate of 9,800 per day and has been acquired 682,000 times since it was released in early March. The rest of the top five are Marjane Satrapi's Cannes winner Persepolis, the Oscar winning La Vie En Rose, Fabien Onteniente's Disco and Vera Belmont's Survivre Avec Les Loups. On average, US films Jumper, Cleaner and Iron Man were pilfered 20,000 times.