TorrentFreak has released its list of the top ten most pirated films of 2012. These are not films sold on the black market per se, but the films with the most estimated illegal downloads on peer to peer networks.
The list contains several big-ticket items which come as no surprise. Films like THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (they don’t have to be 2012 movies, remember) are all present. But number one was a huge surprise.
The epic party film PROJECT X turned out to be the most illegally downloaded film of 2012, with an estimated 8,720,000 illegal downloads on P2P clients such as BitTorrent. This is a surprise for a number of reasons. For one thing, most of the films on the list were strong box office performers while PROJECT X scored $100 million worldwide ($55 million in the United States). The film also got pretty terrible reviews across the board and is even popping up on several Worst 0f 2012 lists from young and old critics alike.
So, why would a film that is getting poor notices and received mediocre box office be the most illegally downloaded film of 2012? The target audience, apparently. This film was aimed at people in their mid-teens/early 20s. Moreover, it’s an R-rated comedy which is not absent from the list altogether. THE DICTATOR and 21 JUMP STREET are also on the top ten. It’s a case of who has the knowledge of P2P networks and who’s doing the downloading.
By the way, don’t assume that all illegal downloads happen in the United States. When TorrentFreak compiled a similar list of the most pirated TV shows of 2012 (GAME OF THRONES came in first there), they said that most illegal downloads of television shows occur outside the United States – by more than 80 percent in fact. Sydney and London are the cities with the most heavy illegal download activity. TorrentFreak released no numbers in tune to how this figure stacks up with illegal movie downloads however.
But still, people – PROJECT X? For crying out loud, read a book instead.
The complete top ten compiled by TorrentFreak breaks down like this: