There’s just no accounting for taste among illegal downloaders—Vin Diesel vehicle Fast Five earned top “honors” with more FBI warnings ignored than any other film this year, according to TorrentFreak’s annual roundup of the Top 10 Pirated Movies of 2011.
TorrentFreak’s list of most-pirated television shows was published earlier this month, with Showtime’s Dextertopping the rankings.
Fast Five, the fifth (natch) installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, was illegally downloaded more than nine million times, according to TorrentFreak’s roundup of BitTorrent tracker reports and other sources (see full list below). That’s quite a ways off the pace set by the 2010 leader, Avatar, which was downloaded more than 16 million times.
Why the steep decline in illegal downloads throughout the Top 10?
“In part this drop might be explained by the increase in legal alternatives, although upcoming alternative piracy sources (such as cyberlockers and steaming sites) may have also had an effect,” TorrentFreak noted. “However, since the total number of active BitTorrent users isn’t shrinking, the downloads may simply be spread out over more titles in 2011.”
This year was also notable for the emergence of a visible deterrent to piracy—a consortium of entertainment industry interests spearheaded a sweeping crackdown on people who use torrents to swap pirated content in 2011.
TorrentFreak’s Top 10 List, which counts downloads of illegally cammed versions of films, was a mixed bag of movies that did very well at the box office and those that, well, not so much. While Fast Fivegrossed $626 million legally worldwide, and The Hangover II, No. 2 on the list with some 8.8 million illegal downloads, grossed $581 million, Sucker Punch (7.2 million downloads) and 127 Hours (6.9 million) were comfortably in the Top 10 despite neither film grossing $100 million at the box office.
And some of the most successful movies of 2011 didn’t even make the Top 10 list, TorrentFreak noted.Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Dark of the Moon apparently didn’t appeal to torrent users despite boffo box office, though Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which hauled in a whopping $1.33 billion in legal tender, did squeeze on to the list in tenth place with a little more than 6 million illegal downloads.