What Were the Year’s Most-Pirated Movies?

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20th Century Fox

James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar might have lost out to ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker when it came to Oscars, but it has no peer in the slightly less glamorous list of the most-pirated films of the year. But no speech is surely necessary for this award.

It’s been revealed that Avatar was illegally downloaded from BitTorrent websites a whopping 16,580,000 times in 2010. That’s a staggering 33% increase from 2009′s “winning” film, Star Trek, which was boldly downloaded on just under 11 million occasions. And it marks a double whammy of sorts for Cameron as Avatar was also the highest-grossing movie of the year.

(See pictures of Avatar and James Cameron’s other movies.)

The smart superhero satire Kick-Ass was the runner-up this year with a little under 11.5 million downloads to its name,  and the scurrilous top five was completed by Inception, Shutter Island and Iron Man 2. Bigelow’s Hurt Locker could only muster ninth place.

A couple of talking points emerge from the list. Firstly, we’ve constantly been told that one of the major reasons for the studios pushing 3D — and pipe down at the back if you think it’s to do with, ahem, increased ticket prices — is how the technology expressively prohibits piracy, meaning that going to the movies is the only/best way to experience these extravaganzas. Unless there have been more sales of 3D TV’s than we thought, it would appear that downloaders are more than happy with the traditional, if illegal, 2D way of watching a film.

(See the top 10 James Cameron moments.)

As for Kick-Ass, NewsFeed has often wondered why nobody seemed to watch it (it took a mere $48 million at the box office compared to Avatar‘s $2.8 billion) and now we have 11 and a half million reasons. It feels disingenuous to congratulate the most popular entries so we won’t, as long as Cameron promises he’s not reworking his Titanic acceptance speech from the Oscars all those years ago, for nobody needs to hear him yell, “I’m the King of the download world!” (Via New York Post)

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