Movie piracy has been a red-hot topic as of late, with multiple online outlets grabbing headlines by carrying copies of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview (before Sony tried to curb the illegal sharing by making it available through streaming services). But torrent use continues to be a buzzed-about topic in the industry, especially as studios and industry experts get a look at the numbers of the films that were illegally downloaded in 2014.
Variety has the statistics shared by the piracy-tracking firm Excipio, which claims that Martin Scorsese’s financial-crime epic The Wolf of Wall Street was the No. 1 most-pirated film this year. The site reports that Leonardo DiCaprio’s drama was downloaded more than 30 million times by Torrent users around the globe. The Wolf barely edged out two titles to claim the top slot on the list – one very expected feature in Frozen; and one complete curveball in RoboCop. Here is the complete list:
1. The Wolf of Wall Street: 30.035 million (Paramount, Dec. 25, 2013)
2. Frozen: 29.919 million (Disney, Nov. 27, 2013)
3. RoboCop: 29.879 million (MGM, Feb. 12, 2014; and Orion, July 17, 1987)
4. Gravity: 29.357 million (Warner Bros., Oct. 4, 2013)
5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 27.627 million (Warner Bros., Dec. 13, 2013)
6. Thor: The Dark World: 25.749 million (Disney/Marvel, Nov. 8, 2013)
7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: 25.628 million (Disney/Marvel, April 4, 2014)
8. The Legend of Hercules: 25.137 million (Summit, Jan. 10, 2014)
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past: 24.380 million (20th Century Fox, May 23, 2014)
10. 12 Years a Slave: 23.653 million (Fox Searchlight, Oct. 18, 2013)
11. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: 23.543 million (Lionsgate, Nov. 22, 2013)
12. American Hustle: 23.143 million (Sony/Columbia, Dec. 13, 2013)
13. 300: Rise of an Empire: 23.096 million (Warner Bros., March 7, 2014)
14. Transformers: Age of Extinction: 21.65 million (Paramount, June 27, 2014)
15. Godzilla: 20.956 million (Warner Bros., May 16, 2014)
16. Noah: 20.334 million (Paramount, March 28, 2014)
17. Divergent: 20.312 million (Lionsgate, March 21, 2014)
18. Edge of Tomorrow: 20.299 million (Warner Bros., June 6, 2014)
19. Captain Phillips: 19.817 million (Sony/Columbia, Oct. 11, 2013)
20. Lone Survivor: 19.130 million (Universal, Dec. 25, 2013)
Do you want to hear the strangest part about this? Jose Padilha’s reboot of the classic RoboCop franchise might have done better than is being reported, as Excipio notes that the 2014 film version could have lost a few reported downloads because it shares the same title as its predecessor. So if not for that confusion, RoboCop might have topped Frozen and Wolf as the most sought-after download of the year. And that’s bizarre, given the backlash that met the movie as it headed into theaters.
That’s the thing, though. Even though audiences didn’t want to pay to see a movie like RoboCop in theaters, they were curious enough to download the feature and see how it turned out. That reasoning helps explain why movies like Edge of Tomorrow and The Legend of Hercules are on here. The one I can’t figure out is Gravity. The whole point of that movie was to see it on the biggest screen possible. In that instance, the "pirates" truly missed out.