What would Captain Jack Sparrow have to say about this? According to a new study, illegal downloading of summer movies was at an all-time high over the course of the past four months. And at the top of every Pirate's most wanted list was one sequel that fits the flavor of the lifestyle. Yes, out of all the hit summer movies to hit theater screens this year, the 9th highest grossing film is actually number one on a completely different chart. And you have to wonder if this is why a film as acclaimed and beloved by fans is so low on the actual box office list.
Released May 15, Mad Max: Fury Road is the most pirated movie of summer 2015. According to new data, digital pirates were far more active on the streaming high seas than they were last year at this time. From June 21 until September 9, the five most pirated summer movies, led by Mad Max: Fury Road, were downloaded on worldwide torrent sites 85.34 million times. This latest info comes courtesy of the piracy-tracking firm Excipio.
This is a 29% increase, a huge leap from the 66 million users who illegally downloaded movies over the same summer time period in 2014. Last year, the top pirated movie honors went to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It seems pirates were far less interested in Marvel's two summer offerings this year. Though Avengers: Age of Ultron just barely managed to crack into the top five, honors we're sure it doesn't want anyway, Ant-Man failed to make the list. That's actually an indication that fans weren't as high on it as some of the more recent superhero fare.
Why such an uptick in pirated movies this year? Industry insiders speculate that an influx of blockbuster offerings is to blame, as there were more popular movies hitting the theater this year than last. The U.S. box office for summer 2015 is the second best in recorded history. This comes after 2014 hit a seven year low. Between May 1, 2015 to Labor Day weekend, the domestic box office pulled in grosses of $4.48 million.
Digital pirates' five most popular movies were also big at the box office. Though when tracking illegal downloads across the globe, two movies failed to crack the top ten domestic releases for summer 2015. Pirates seem to enjoy movies with sci-fi and fantasy themes the most, with Mad Max: Fury Road generating 22.90 million shares on torrent networks throughout the summer. It has pulled in $374 million at the worldwide box office. It is followed by the number one grossing movie of the summer, Jurassic World. That sequel has been downloaded 18.16 million times, making it far less popular than Max and Furiosa's desert adventure. Coming in third across the globe was Avengers: Age of Ultron with 15.87 million illegal downloads. The final two movies weren't as big at the summer box office. The fourth most popular pirated title is The Divergent Series: Insurgent, with 14.46 million downloads. And coming in last is the movie that might still get a sequel yet, as Terminator Genisys snags 13.94 million downloads, despite being considered a bomb in the states.
If we're solely looking at illegal downloads in the states, the top five shifts just a bit. Number one and two are the same, with Mad Max: Fury Road pulling in 1.75 million illegal downloads, and Jurassic World responsible for 1.21 million. The Divergent Series: Insurgent is number three with 1.16 million. Appearing for the first time on any summer 2015 lists is Ted 2, with 1.10 million illegal stateside downloads. And barely cracking the top five is Avengers: Age of Ultron with 1.09 million. So, which movies did you illegally download this summer?