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123Movies, also known as GoMovies or GoStream or 123movieshub, was a network of file streaming websites. Operating from Vietnam, it was an online movie streaming site that offered users the platform to watch movies for free.

In March 2018, 123Movies was labeled the world’s “most popular illegal site” by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Nevertheless, as of April 2021, the network is still active and available through clone sites.

Origin of 123Movies

Although 123Movies has no precise date of origin, people estimate that the site’s authorities launched the original website sometime in 2015. Originating in and from Vietnam, the site featured several Hollywood movies initially. Later on, it offered numerous films from all over the world.

At the time of its origin, 123Movies’ preliminary domain went by the URL of “123movies.to.” After that, it went through name changes several times. Owing to its illegal actions and copyright issues, all of 123Movies websites and domains were shut down officially, with no access to anyone.

The last known name of the website, before the final closure of the 123Movies free chain, was 123MoviesHub. Nevertheless, a few tweaked versions and clones of the sites’ famous names have emerged.

Reasons for 123Movies’ Rise in Popularity

There are a colossal number of websites that offer movies for free online. The sites even provide high-quality movies similar to 123Movies.

Then, why is it that the masses preferred 123Movies to such an extent even though it was technically an illegal one? Let us see the reasons for its rise in popularity.

  • Variety: The foremost advantage of 123Movies, which has successfully drawn in multiple viewers, is its varied content. The site offers movies of diverse origins, ranging from Hollywood and Bollywood to the less known ones. Hence, all kinds of French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and so on films are readily available here.
  • Quality: When it comes to quality, 123Movies falls behind no one. All the movies it offers are High Definition (HD) ones with adjustable pixels of 144p, 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p, and 1080p.
  • Website Operation and Handling: The ease with which viewers can access and operate the website is exceedingly undemanding and effortless. The site restricts pop-ups and advertisements, ensuring smooth movie streaming. Additionally, it does not ask for the users’ personal information that may otherwise result in unwarranted issues.
  • Cost: The best part of the website is that all movies available on it are wholly free. Thus, one can view varieties of films of superior quality without any added charges or hidden costs.

Closure of 123Movies’ Main Site

The film industry loses several billion of revenues because of the increasing cases of digital piracy worldwide. On account of this fact, the US Ambassador, Ted Osius, had talks with the Vietnamese local Minister of Information and Communications, Truong Minh Tuan, about closing down all illegal video streaming websites. Among the list of names that they compiled, 123Movies made a particularly significant impact.

Following their conversation, on 19th March, 2018, the illegal streaming site of 123Movies was shut down for good. A notice on the site’s webpage mentioned its closure, urging users to follow the legal and correct path by respecting the filmmakers and purchasing the movies and TV shows.

Nonetheless, recent years have witnessed the emergence of several copycat sites associated with 123Movies.