Although 2015 was a great year for cinema, it looks as though it was a bumper year for film piracy, too… with an alarming increase in illegal downloads.
In fact, some of the biggest movies of the year also topped the charts for the most pirated movies. How many downloads did each of them get? We’ll give you a hint – they’re not small numbers.
But which films topped this dubious chart?
10. Kingsman: The Secret Service – 30,922,987 downloads
It may have been released in 2014, but ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ proved rather popular amongst movie pirates.
Amassing almost 31 million downloads, that’s not far off the movie’s $36 million opening weekend in the US. ‘Kingsman’ follows the story of Eggsy – a young British chav who ends up being drafted into a secret life of espionage.
Starring Colin Firth and Taron Egerton, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ saw another of Mark Millar’s comic books come to life on the big screen.
9. Terminator: Genisys - 31,001,480 downloads
It may not have impressed the critics, but ‘Terminator: Genisys’ certainly piqued the interest of illegal downloaders… let’s just hope Skynet didn’t spot them.
This time, the 31 million downloads completely trounced the ‘Terminator’ sequel’s opening weekend in the states – which managed a rather slim $27 million. ‘Terminator: Genisys’ saw Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise the role of the old T-800.
But it seems nostalgia wasn’t enough to bring people out to the cinemas… even if they were willing to have a gander in the comfort of their own homes.
8. The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies - 31,574,872 downloads
The last of the ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, ‘Battle of the Five Armies’ saw Bilbo and his pals take on the mighty Smaug… before ending up in a bit of a scuffle with the rest of Middle Earth.
But while Bilbo’s shenanigans managed to rake in over $950 million at the worldwide box office, it also managed to entice over 31 million illegal downloads, making it the eighth most pirated movie on our list.
‘The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies’ stars Martin Freeman and was directed by Peter Jackson.
7. Fifty Shades Of Grey - 32,126,827 downloads
I suppose there’s no accounting for taste – even amongst pirates.
‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ stars Jamie Dornan as everyone’s favourite dominant, Christian Grey. Dakota Johnson joins him as Ana Steele – a young student who enters into a sadomasochistic relationship with the powerful business magnate.
And while ‘Fifty Shades’ managed a pant-wetting $570 million at the box office, it seems that some fans would rather enjoy the film behind closed doors.
Whatever floats your boat.
6. American Sniper - 33,953,737 downloads
It was met with critical acclaim by critics – ‘American Sniper’ stars Bradley Cooper in the harrowing true story of US Navy sniper, Chris Kyle.
Amassing an impressive 89 million in its opening weekend, the film went on to be illegally downloaded almost 34 million times. Quite impressive, considering the huge blockbusters it trounced in the illegal download charts.
The Oscar-winning movie came under some criticism for its ‘creative’ use of dolls when shooting emotional scenes with a young baby… and perhaps this was one reason for pirates to take a peek when they otherwise wouldn’t have bothered.
5. Mad Max: Fury Road - 36,443,244
It’s the post-apocalyptic road movie we’d all been waiting for – ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ saw George Miller return to the Wasteland.
Starring Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ was beloved by fans and critics alike, and managed a solid run at the box office. But with a worldwide gross of $375 million, the number of illegal downloads comes to just shy of 10% of its takings – a massive 36.4 million.
Let’s just hope even more fans turn out for the impending sequel.
4. Jurassic World - 36,881,763 downloads
It’s one of the biggest hits of the year - ‘Jurassic World’ was bound to appear on this list sooner or later.
Chris Pratt stars as Owen Grady, a velociraptor trainer caught amidst a park-wide panic as Jurassic World’s latest attraction escapes from its pen… and wreaks havoc amongst those who paid to come and see it.
Amassing almost 37 million downloads, it’s not even a scratch compared to its impressive box office figures. ‘Jurassic World’ earned a record-smashing $1.66 billion… making it the highest grossing film of 2015 and third-highest grossing film of all time.
At least… until ‘Star Wars’ came along.
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron - 41,594,159 downloads
Another box office hit, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ saw Marvel Studios pull together its mightiest heroes for another ensemble piece… and the pirates seemed to love it, too.
Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, ‘Age of Ultron’ saw The Avengers take on the mighty Ultron… while expanding its team with the addition of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
Earning a colossal $1.4 billion at the global box office, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ was a huge success for Marvel Studios… as well as proving popular amongst illegal downloaders with a whopping 41.5 million downloads.
Almost one download for each of Ultron’s drones…
2. Furious 7 – 44,794,877 downloads
The latest in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise, ‘Furious 7’ marked the last film to star series favourite, Paul Walker.
Starring Vin Diesel as former criminal and professional street racer Dominic Torreto, we’re thrust back into the high-octane world of car chases and daring heists… and with an all-star cast which includes Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham and even Kurt Russell, there’s plenty of reason to watch this movie. However you obtained it.
‘Furious 7’ performed incredibly well at the box office, with a worldwide gross of over $1.5 billion… and that was once again reflected in the number of pirate downloads. Illegally seen almost 44.8 million times.
But it couldn’t quite make it to number one…
1. Interstellar - 46,762,310 downloads
Christopher Nolan’s space-bending epic ‘Interstellar’ was officially the most-pirated film of 2015… amassing a staggering 46.7 million illegal downloads.
Starring Matthew McConaughey as former-NASA pilot Joseph ‘Coop’ Cooper, we follow his journey to help humanity find a new home. Travelling 10 billion light years away from Earth, he and his crew explore new planets… all via a time-bending wormhole.
Earning a respectable $675 million at the global box office, ‘Interstellar’ may have survived the pirates… but the numbers are on the increase.
Let’s just hope more folks head to the cinema in 2016.
Picture Credit: 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros.