2012 was an incredible year for comic book movies, as Joss Whedon's "The Avengers" became the #3 highest grossing film of all time and Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises" hitting #7 on the highest grossing list. AMC's "The Walking Dead" continued to break cable records on television, garnering critical acclaim in the back half of its second season and the front half of its third.
However, all three of these beloved comic book adaptations have also earned another dubious honor: ranking on the list of top ten most pirated movies or television shows of 2012. Torrent Freak has compiled a list of the top ten most pirated films and television shows downloaded via filesharing service BitTorrent. On the television side, "The Walking Dead" ranked sixth on the list with 2.55 million downloads. "The Walking Dead" had the second highest number of U.S. TV viewers this year, numbering 10.87 million. Interestingly enough the number of downloads for "Game of Thrones," the most pirated television show of 2012, actually surpassed the number of estimated U.S. television viewers by 80,000.
Equally as interesting is the most pirated films list, where "The Dark Knight Rises" beat out "The Avengers" for most pirated film. The end of Nolan's Batman epic ranked third with 8.23 million downloads, while "The Avengers" fell to fourth place with 8.11 million downloads.
What's even more intriguing is when the downloads are converted into actual dollars for the two films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the average ticket price around that time in the U.S. was about $8.12. If the pirated copies were translated into dollars, it's $66.82 million for "The Dark Knight Rises" and $65.85 million for "The Avengers." However, TorrentFreak notes that while it's still unclear whether unauthorized downloads are a serious threat to revenue for films, it's likely to have an impact on DVD sales, rentals and on-demand movies.
Check out TorrentFreak's rankings below.
Most Downloaded Movies on BitTorrent, 2012
|rank||movie||est. downloads||worldwide grosses|
|2||Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol||8,500,000||$694,713,380|
|3||The Dark Knight Rises||8,230,000||$1,081,041,287|
|5||Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows||7,850,000||$543,848,418|
|6||21 Jump Street||7,590,000||$201,585,328|
|7||The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo||7,420,000||$232,617,430|
|9||Ice Age: Continental Drift||6,960,000||$875,093,094|
|10||The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1||6,740,000||$712,171,856|
Most Downloaded Television Shows on BitTorrent, 2012
|rank||show||downloads||est. US TV viewers|
|1||Game of Thrones||4,280,000||4,200,000|
|3||The Big Bang Theory||3,200,000||15,820,000|
|4||How I Met Your Mother||2,960,000||10,140,000|
|6||The Walking Dead||2,550,000||10,870,000|