Earlier this week, we learned that HBO’s Game of Thrones was the most pirated TV show of 2012 – which makes sense, since it’s a popular program only available to HBO subscribers and not everyone shells out the cash each month for the network.
Today, we learned the most pirated movie of the past 12 months – and we bet that it’s not the title you were expecting. While mega-blockbusters like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were pirated a staggering number of times, it’s the much-maligned R-rated teen comedy Project X that locked down the title as the most illegally downloaded film of the year, according to TorrentFreak.
In some ways, it makes sense that this film topped the list. It’s an R-rated comedy marketed toward teens, many of whom couldn’t get into a theater to see it because they weren't of age. Left with no other alternative, they hit the torrent sites.
According to the figures, Project X was downloaded roughly 8.7 million times. It earned just over $100 million in box office receipts, but before you start saying it lost roughly $80 million to those filthy pirates, remember that a download does not equate to a ticket sale on a one-to-one basis.
What’s more interesting to consider is whether or not this will influence future decisions about green-lighting R-rated comedies aimed at this particular demographic. $100 million is still a good box office haul for most films (particularly this one, which was made for around $12 million), but studios might reconsider based on these figures. Of course, they should probably reconsider making R-rated comedies aimed at age groups who aren’t old enough to actually see R-rated comedies in the first place. We suspect things will probably stay the same – money’s money and Project X still made a lot of it even with the dubious distinction of being the most pirated movie of the year.
The rest of the list is filled with big-name features – Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol comes in second, followed by The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. Those three features were pirated over eight million times each, and still combined to take in over $3 billion at the box office. Feel free to draw your own conclusion on how piracy is destroying the movie business from those numbers…
Check out the full list of the year’s most pirated films at TorrentFreak.