Unless something like SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) takes over, movies will continue to be pirated — a fact reinforced by Torrent Freak's list of the ten most pirated films of 2011 as shared on BitTorrent. This year's winner is Fast Five, with 9,260,000 downloads — a number that still pales in comparison to last year's champ Avatar, which had 16 million downloads. 2010 still ranks higher overall compared to 2011, which is a trend we saw in theatrical attendance and revenue as well. Cinema's numbers have been declining for sixteen-years.
We're not shocked to see box office greats like Harry Potter make the grade, but The King's Speech was a little unexpected. Other flicks on the list (we're looking at you Sucker Punch) reek of "It got bad reviews, but I still want to see scantily clad girls kicking ass." Top box office grossers like Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Twilight are missing from the ranking, proving that piracy is completely unpredictable and isn't always equated with big moneymakers. Perhaps that's why someone like Ti West felt inspired to join the piracy discussion, as it relates to indie filmmaking and his upcoming feature, The Innkeepers.
Although this list claims the torrents of one Oscar winner and nominee, smaller budget movies are not immune to illegal downloads and the effects hit the filmmakers a lot harder. West explains, " … If the movie makes money ... that's tangible evidence of a paying audience out there for movies like mine. For independent films. For something different. Not just bland remakes/sequels or live action versions of comic books/cartoons/boardgames." Amen.
We're big fans of West around here, so please take the time to read the rest of his perceptive plea, then let us know if any of these most-downloaded movies surprise you.
1. Fast Five 9,260,000 (downloads) $626,137,675 (worldwide grosses)
2. The Hangover II 8,840,000 (downloads) $581,464,305 (worldwide grosses)
3 Thor 8,330,000 (downloads) $449,326,618 (worldwide grosses)
4. Source Code 7,910,000 (downloads) $123,278,618 (worldwide grosses)
5. I Am Number Four 7,670,000 (downloads) $144,500,437 (worldwide grosses)
6. Sucker Punch 7,200,000 (downloads) $89,792,502 (worldwide grosses)
7. 127 Hours 6,910,000 (downloads) $60,738,797 (worldwide grosses)
8. Rango 6,480,000 (downloads) $245,155,348 (worldwide grosses)
9. The King’s Speech 6,250,000 (downloads) $414,211,549 (worldwide grosses)
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 6,030,000 (downloads) $1,328,111,219 (worldwide grosses)