Most Pirated Films of 2015 Include ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Furious 7’ and More
Here’s a top 10 list that’s not so fun: 2015 saw a huge surge in film piracy, as the most pirated film of the year had 55 percent more downloads than 2014's more pirated film. This year’s most frequently illegally downloaded titles offer few — if any — surprises, and include the biggest blockbuster films of the year, like Furious 7 and Jurassic World, as well as a few of last year’s most popular studio offerings.
The numbers reported from piracy tracking firm Excipio (via Variety) were gathered from January 1 of this year until December 25, and the top 10 most pirated films include a few of last year’s most popular movies, with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar taking the top spot:
- Interstellar (2014) – 46,762,310
- Furious 7 (2015) – 44,794,877
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – 41,594,159
- Jurassic World (2015) – 36,881,763
- Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) – 36,443,244
- American Sniper (2014) – 33,953,737
- Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) – 32,126,827
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – 31,574,872
- Terminator: Genisys (2015) – 31,001,480
- Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015) – 30,922,987
Wolf of Wall Street topped last year’s list with 30 million downloads, nearly 17 million less than Interstellar this year, and almost 1 million less than the number 10 film, Kingsman — that’s a sizable uptick in illegal downloading, and while you may shrug and wonder why it matters when these are huge studio films that had zero trouble generating millions at the box office, it’s a problem.
If the numbers are swelling like this, it stands to reason that independent films are also being pirated more frequently. Box office numbers are obviously more important for these smaller, original features, where a higher return rate is imperative to secure the future of more original — and interesting — filmmaking. Studios aren’t going to take as many risks on filmmakers whose independent work didn’t see a sizable return on investment; more people pirating means less people seeing these movies in the theater, which means we’ll continue getting more sequels, remakes and reboots and less original, “risky” ideas.
As to the ongoing popularity of 2014 features on the 2015 list, those films tend to stick around longer as the higher demand inspires increased sharing among pirates. And then there’s Fifty Shades of Grey, which indicates that either a whole lot of moms are learning how to steal movies, or there are millions of people out there who were too ashamed to admit they wanted to see that thing.
At any rate, here’s hoping next year sees a decrease in these numbers, which have grown more alarming in recent years as piracy has sadly become an all-too-common, casual way to watch movies — even with the advent of day-and-date VOD and increasing streaming options.