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Top 10 most pirated movies of 2011 revealed as ticket sales and revenue continue to decline

Zach Epstein
December 29th, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Piracy is still a huge problem according to the music industry and Hollywood, and it’s hard to dispute the notion that downloading a paid digital product without actually paying for it is theft. Now, as TorrentFreak releases its list of the 10 most pirated movies of 2011, we can see a possible correlation between illegal downloads and movie revenue continue to take shape. Read on for more.

Fast Five — the fifth film in Universal’s Fast & Furious franchise — was the most pirated movie this year according to TorrentFreak, having been downloaded 9.26 million times. The Hangover II followed with 8.84 million downloads, and Thor was the third most pirated film with 8.33 million illegal downloads. Source Code followed with 7.91 million downloads and I Am Number Four rounded out the top-5 with 7.67 million downloads.

At the same time, movie ticket sales and box office revenue declined for the second straight year in 2011 according to The Numbers. Moviegoers purchased 1.24 billion tickets in 2011 compared to 1.33 billion last year, and revenue from ticket sales sank to $9.9 billion this year from $10.46 billion 2010.

Perhaps even more telling are DVD sales figures in 2011 compared to 2010. While legal digital downloads certainly gained popularity in 2011 and likely had a more significant impact on DVD sales, the disparity between DVD revenue in 2010 compared to this year is much more pronounced than it has been in the past. Seven movies saw DVD sales that exceeded $100 million in 2010, lead by Avatar, which pulled in more than $183 million. In 2011, no DVD did $100 million in sales; Disney’s Tangled was the highest-grossing DVD of the year with just $96 million in sales.

A complete list of the top 10 most pirated movies of 2011 along with torrent download totals and worldwide gross revenue totals follows below.

rank movie downloads worldwide gross
1 Fast Five 9,260,000 $626,137,675
2 The Hangover II 8,840,000 $581,464,305
3 Thor 8,330,000 $449,326,618
4 Source Code 7,910,000 $123,278,618
5 I Am Number Four 7,670,000 $144,500,437
6 Sucker Punch 7,200,000 $89,792,502
7 127 Hours 6,910,000 $60,738,797
8 Rango 6,480,000 $245,155,348
9 The King’s Speech 6,250,000 $414,211,549
10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 6,030,000 $1,328,111,219

Read [top 10 torrents] Read [ticket sales, revenue] Read [DVD sales]

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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