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The list of 2012’s most pirated movies features the expected hits like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, but surprisingly, Warner Bros.’ small budget comedy Project X topped the list.
TorrentFreak noted that this year saw no significant change in the number of illegal downloads of movies, so whatever the studios are doing hasn’t made much of an impact.
As the lowest-grossing film on the list, Project X is a surprise No. 1. It grossed $100.9 million at the box office following its March release and does not feature any major stars. It was directed by first-time director Nima Nourizadeh and stars Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper and Jonathan Daniel. TorrentFreak says that it was downloaded 8.72 million times on BitTorrent. That’s a lot of people who wanted to enjoy a party thrown by high school seniors.
Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, which was released last Christmas, was downloaded 8.5 million times, which puts it at second place. The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers followed with 8.23 million downloads and 8.11 million downloads, respectively. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows rounded out the top 5 with 7.85 million downloads.
The rest of the top 10 included 21 Jump Street (7.59 million); The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (7.42 million); The Dictator (7.33 million); Ice Age: Continental Drift (6.96 million) and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (6.74 million).
Two of 2012’s biggest hits - The Hunger Games and Skyfall - did not make the list.
TorrentFreak noted that there is no clear evidence to show that illegal downloads really do affect the box office. A survey earlier this year found that piracy doesn’t affect the box office in the U.S., but it does overseas.
Today’s list follows TorrentFreak’s list of most pirated TV shows. HBO’s Game of Thrones and Showtime’s Dexter topped that list.