Star Wars: The Force Awakens only came out two weekends ago, and pirated copies of the movie did not start showing up on bit torrent sites until several days after its release. This is unusual in the world of illegal downloads, which sometimes sees the biggest releases available to a wider audience weeks in advance of a proper theatrical release. Variety has our look at the Top 14 pirated movies of 2015, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens didn't even make the list. Perhaps it will reach #1 in 2016. As for this year, an unexpected entry took the top spot. Though, the rest of the list shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
While the fact that the top pirated movies of 2015 are some of the year's biggest blockbusters shouldn't surprise anyone, it's the amount of times they were pirated that might make your eyes bulge. This past year's biggest money makers at the box office were just as popular with freeloading torrent users who decided to pilfer their entertainment off the web rather than pay full ticket price.
The top three most pirated movies worldwide were some of 2015's biggest movies, with Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World topping the global list. This information comes from Pirate Tracking agency Excipio. They have monitored all illegal movie downloads from the very beginning of this year, through this past Friday, Christmas Day, December 25th.
This information only includes movies actually released in 2015. When 2014 releases are added into the mix for the past year, it's surprising to learn that director Christopher Nolan's sci-fi drama Interstellar takes top honors as the most pirated movie of 2015. The movie actually sits at number 16 on 2014's box office list of biggest money makers. What this shows is that some of the more popular movies from that year spend more cumulative time in circulation among pirates. This same fact was true last year. Director Martin Scorsese's 2013 true-life drama The Wolf of Wall Street was 2014's most illegally downloaded movie.
The shocking thing to learn between 2014 and 2015 is that the most pirated movies were downloaded a lot more times than previous years. The Wolf of Wall Street drew over 30 million downloads last year. That is 55% less than the nearly 47 million downloads that Interstellar commanded. With the four other 2014 releases factored in, The Wolf of Wall Street wouldn't even crack this year's top 10 list. Kingsman: The Secret Service, which is sitting pretty at #10, brought in 31 million illegal downloads.
It must be noted that this is not a fluke. Excipio did not alter it's piracy monitoring methods this year. And the tracking period was the same as previous years. The explosion in growth of numbers indicates that piracy is running wild, out of control and unabated worldwide. Some overseas markets, such as Brazil, have experienced sustancial growth in pirating as well, helping fuel the totals. Here's the list of the Top 14 Pirates Movies of 2015. Were you surprised by any of them?
Downloaded 46,762,310 times. Domestic Box Office Take of $188 million. Worldwide Take of $675.1 million. In Earth's future, a global crop blight and second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand (Michael Caine), a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth's population to a new home via a wormhole. But first, Brand must send former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind's new home.
Downloaded 44,794,877 times. Domestic Box Office take of $353 million. Worldwide Take of $1.5 billion. After defeating international terrorist Owen Shaw, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew have separated to return to more normal lives. However, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), Owen's older brother, is thirsty for revenge. A slick government agent offers to help Dom and company take care of Shaw in exchange for their help in rescuing a kidnapped computer hacker who has developed a powerful surveillance program.
Downloaded 41,594,159 times. Domestic box office take of $459million. Worldwide Take of $1.4 billion. When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and the rest of the Avengers to reassemble. As the fate of Earth hangs in the balance, the team is put to the ultimate test as they battle Ultron, a technological terror hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they encounter two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.
Dowloaded 36,881,763 times. Domestic box office take of $652.2 million. Worldwide take of $1.6 billion. Located off the coast of Costa Rica, the Jurassic World luxury resort provides a habitat for an array of genetically engineered dinosaurs, including the vicious and intelligent Indominus rex. When the massive creature escapes, it sets off a chain reaction that causes the other dinos to run amok. Now, it's up to a former military man and animal expert (Chris Pratt) to use his special skills to save two young brothers and the rest of the tourists from an all-out, prehistoric assault.
Downloaded 36,443,244 times. Domestic box office take of $153.6 million. Worldwide take of $375. Years after the collapse of civilization, the tyrannical Immortan Joe enslaves apocalypse survivors inside the desert fortress the Citadel. When the warrior Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) leads the despot's five wives in a daring escape, she forges an alliance with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), a loner and former captive. Fortified in the massive, armored truck the War Rig, they try to outrun the ruthless warlord and his henchmen in a deadly high-speed chase through the Wasteland.
Downloaded 33,953,737 times. Domestic box office takeoff $350.1 million. Worldwide take of $547.4 million. U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper) takes his sole mission -- protect his comrades -- to heart and becomes one of the most lethal snipers in American history. His pinpoint accuracy not only saves countless lives but also makes him a prime target of insurgents. Despite grave danger and his struggle to be a good husband and father to his family back in the States, Kyle serves four tours of duty in Iraq. However, when he finally returns home, he finds that he cannot leave the war behind.
Downloaded 32,126,827 times. Domestic box office take of $166.1 million. Worldwide take of $570.4 million. When college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) steps in for her sick roommate to interview prominent businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) for their campus paper, little does she realize the path her life will take. Christian, as enigmatic as he is rich and powerful, finds himself strangely drawn to Ana, and she to him. Though sexually inexperienced, Ana plunges headlong into an affair -- and learns that Christian's true sexual proclivities push the boundaries of pain and pleasure.
Downloaded 31,574,872 times. Domestic box office take of $255.1 million. Worldwide take of $956 million. Having reclaimed Erebor and vast treasure from the dragon Smaug, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) sacrifices friendship and honor in seeking the Arkenstone, despite Smaug's fiery wrath and desperate attempts by the Hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) to make him see reason. Meanwhile, Sauron sends legions of Orcs in a sneak attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance, the races of Men, Elves and Dwarves must decide whether to unite and prevail -- or all die.
Downloaded 31,001,480 times. Domestic box-office take of $89.7 million. Worldwide take of $250.8 million. When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance against Skynet, sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah (Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator assassin, an unexpected turn of events creates an altered timeline. Instead of a scared waitress, Sarah is a skilled fighter and has a Terminator guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger) by her side. Faced with unlikely allies and dangerous new enemies, Reese sets out on an unexpected new mission: reset the future.
Downloaded 30,922,987 times. Domestic box office take of $128.2 million. Worldwide take of $414.3 million. Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton), whose late father secretly worked for a spy organization, lives in a South London housing estate and seems headed for a life behind bars. However, dapper agent Harry Hart (Colin Firth) recognizes potential in the youth and recruits him to be a trainee in the secret service. Meanwhile, villainous Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) launches a diabolical plan to solve the problem of climate change via a worldwide killing spree.
Downloaded 26,792,863 times. Domestic box office take of $53.8 million. Worldwide take of $105.2 million. Nicky (Will Smith), a veteran con artist, takes a novice named Jess (Margot Robbie) under his wing. While Nicky teaches Jess the tricks of the trade, the pair become romantically involved; but, when Jess gets uncomfortably close, Nicky ends their relationship. Three years later, Nicky is in Buenos Aires working a very dangerous scheme when Jess -- now an accomplished femme fatale -- unexpectedly shows up. Her appearance throws Nicky for a loop at a time when he cannot afford to be off his game.
Downloaded 25,883,469 times. Domestic box office take of $155.1 million. Worldwide take of $473.7 million. A seemingly ideal day turns disastrous when California's notorious San Andreas fault triggers a devastating, magnitude 9 earthquake, the largest in recorded history. As the Earth cracks open and buildings start to crumble, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson), an LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, must navigate the destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco to bring his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario) to safety.
Downloaded 23,495,140 times. Domestic box office take of $336 million. Worldwide take of $821.2 million. Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a continual series of unsuccessful masters, from T. Rex to Napoleon. Without a master to grovel for, the Minions fall into a deep depression. But one minion, Kevin, has a plan; accompanied by his pals Stuart and Bob, Kevin sets forth to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Their search leads them to Scarlet Overkill, the world's first-ever super-villainess.
Downloaded 22,734,070 times. Domestic box office take of $356 million. Worldwide take of $851.6 million. Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents move to San Francisco. Riley's emotions -- led by Joy (Amy Poehler) -- try to guide her through this difficult, life-changing event. However, the stress of the move brings Sadness (Phyllis Smith) to the forefront. When Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley's mind, the only emotions left in Headquarters are Anger, Fear and Disgust.
Were you surprised by any of the inclusions on this list? What about exclusions? Some of 2015's biggest movies did not crack the top 10 most pirated movies. And that's because for some, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, it's much too early in the game. The Martian also failed to make the list, but we can expect to see its bit torrent numbers rise in 2016. And the same will probably be true for the latest James Bond movie Spectre. Disney's Cinderella, which is the 9th biggest movie of the year, has been out long enough to make the list, but failed to attract too many online costumers. What do you think? Did you pirate a movie this year? And did you feel guilty? We know someone's doing it. Just look at those skyrocketing numbers.