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Justin Lin’s lucrative sequel Fast Five roared to a $626.1 million worldwide take, making it the highest-grossing film in the franchise’s history. Imagine how much more it could have made, though, if 9.2 million people didn’t illegally download Five to their computer, robbing Lin (and Universal) of some hard-earned cash?
Fast Five leads TorrentFreak.com’s list of the most-pirated films in 2011, putting it ahead of Todd Phillips’ The Hangover: Part II (8.8 million) and Kenneth Branagh’s Thor (8.3 million). The site collects its information from multiple sources – including reports from BitTorrent trackers – and includes all versions of pirated releases, including cam recordings and streams.
We don’t condone pirating. At all. In fact, blockbusters like Fast Five and Thor -- which feature some of the most impressive action and fight choreography that we saw in 2011 -- deserve to be seen the largest screen possible. Just thinking of someone reducing Brad Bird’s breathtaking IMAX cinematography for a pirated version of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol makes me sad.
At least TorrentFreak says that the 9 million downloads logged by Fast Five is way down from last year’s list leader, Avatar, which earned 16 million downloads in 2010. (Again, a film that loses all of its impact without 3D and reduced to a computer or home-video screen.) So anti-piracy technology and the advancement of easy-streaming technology could be cutting down on user’s pirating practices. But for the time being, sadly, as long as torrent samples of hit movies exist online, people are going to pirate, and the industry is going to feel the pinch.