Remember the big debacle with the Wolverine piracy stunt?  It stirred quite the debate across the net between classic respectful consumers vs the modern-day internet consumer with the oddest of excuses for what is known as stealing.  But then the movie still made its money.  They all make their money no matter what pranks people pull.

Me, in case you didn’t know…  I actually pay for the products I use.  It’s the old fashion thing to do!

But what of pirated movies?  Was there a more popular movie to steal than Wolverine? There certainly was and we have the list of the top 10 most pirates movies of the year along with top 10 lists for total domestic box office earnings and top DVD sales.

The most pirated movie out there was J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, edging out Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen with almost 11 million illegal downloads. The 3rd most downloaded film was Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla.

With RocknRolla, people wonder if the mere $26 million it made could have been more if WB actually marketed it properly or if people had actually gone to see it instead of steal it. But alas, you know how we here at Screen Rant feel about the matter.

The article on THR esq. makes a great debate about how the process of a movie release potentially contributes to the process instead of just releasing everything at the same time to the theater, DVD etc.

So what were the top 10 illegally downloaded movies?

MovieEst. Downloads (Mil)Worldwide Box Office ($Mil)
Star Trek 10.96385.5
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 10.60835.0
RocknRolla 9.4325.7
The Hangover 9.18459.4
Twilight 8.72385.0
District 9 8.28204.6
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 7.93929.4
State of Play 7.4487.8
X-Men Origins: Wolverine 7.20373.0
Knowing 6.93183.3

For those who have made a habit out of stealing, they’ll pitch their argument that the movie still made money.

It’s an interesting top-10 list, that’s for sure.  And if these movies were the most illegally downloaded, does this portend to a brand new kind of top-10 list we have to start reporting on?

So this got me to thinking.  How do the illegal downloads add up with legitimate sales numbers?  Is there a trend in theft that can be applied to legitimate numbers?

Let’s take a look and see what we see:

TOP DVD SALESSales Revenue for 2009 ($ millions)
1Twilight 175.3
2Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 187.2
3Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 107.0
4Up 101.4
5Bolt 80.9
6Monsters vs. Aliens 73.8
7Star Trek 60.6
8Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 70.3
9X-Men Origins: Wolverine 68.8
10The Proposal 66.5

chart source: The Numbers


TOP U.S. BOX OFFICEB.O. for 2009 ($ in mil)
1Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen$402
2Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$302
4The Hangover$277
5Star Trek$258
6The Twilight Saga: New Moon$231
7Monsters vs. Aliens$198
8Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$197
9X-Men Origins: Wolverine$180
10Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian$177

chart source: The Numbers

Closing Thoughts

Star Trek was the top grossing illegal download, but Star Trek was 7th and 5th in the DVD and Box Office Charts.  Hmm.  I’m starting to think that some of you who say you’re previewing a film illegally to know you’ll buy it, aren’t following through on that line.  Yet it looks like Transformers then contends in the other direction.  Then The Hangover looks to go in either direction.  The Hangover was 4th on the illegal download chart, but non-existent in the top-10 of DVD purchases while it was 4th in 2009 of Box Office performers.

That is, if these charts could be compared to each other.  Initial review makes me wonder, but scientifically, there’s so much more that can go into this little comparison that we could go on and on for a while.

Source:  THR esq