Pirates are known to be law breaking, rebels, who rob, steal and murder. Often, they can be found on ships and have an entire crew of equally rebellious murderers. Pirates have been depicted as wearing an eye patch, a parrot on the shoulder, having a hook for a hand and saying “Arrrr”. Oh, wait…so sorry…wrong kind of pirates.
Technically, they’re not pirates but movie piracy is comparable. Instead of a pirate having a hook for a hand and on ship, now it’s a hand in a bag of chips and behind a computer. Piracy of movies has been around for a very long time. However, with the help of the Internet, piracy has spread and become much more common. In the early days of movie piracy, it was usually someone (possibly a pirate) secretly recording the latest blockbuster on a camcorder from his or her seat. Often, the recordings would hit the streets while the film was still in theatres. However, these copies were bad in quality and usually had very bad sound. It’s very common while watching a copy like this, to suddenly see someone stand up and go to the washroom. With the advancement of technology, it is now common for a copy of a great film with fantastic quality to be easily available illegally. Although, for those that do enjoy them, camcorder recordings are still very prominent. Piracy and illegal downloading has hurt the film industry. The amount of people seeing a movie in theatres has decreased and DVD/Blu-ray sales have suffered. There has been an attempt to bust down on piracy, but it’s still very rampant. Here is a look at the 15 most pirated movies of all time.
15) Noah March 20, 2014 – 20 Million Downloads
Noah is an adventure film that was based on Noah’s Ark from the Book of Genesis. Darren Aronofsky directed the film and it starred Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins. The film gained mostly positive reviews. Critics praised the film for its directing, cast and visual effects. However, the film did cause some controversy because of the all white cast. Many scholars pointed out that the bible is very diverse and that the film did not reflect this. It also caused controversy with many religious groups. Regardless, the film did very well at the box office and was a huge success in both Russia and Brazil. It was illegally downloaded roughly 20 million times.
14) Godzilla May 16, 2014 – 20 Million Downloads
Godzilla focuses on the origin story of Godzilla. The film is a reboot of the Godzilla franchise. Garth Edwards directed the film and it starred Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston. The film has gained mixed reviews. Some critics felt that it was an underdeveloped script, with no character development and featured little of Godzilla, despite the film being called Godzilla. Other critics praised the film for its directing, visual effects, slow pace, music and design of the creatures. The film was instantly a success at the box office. The film was illegally downloaded around 20 million times.
13) Transformers: Age Of Extinction June 27, 2014 – 21 Million Downloads
Transformers: Age Of Extinction followed Optimus Prime and the Autobots as they do battle with the Decepticons. The film is the fourth film in the Transformers films series. Michael Bay directed the film and it starred Mark Walberg. The film received mixed reviews. It was nominated for Worst Picture at the 35th annual Golden Raspberry Awards. Some critics did praise the film for its action sequences and Mark Walberg was praised for his performance. The film was a major success at the box office, being one of the highest grossing movies of the year. It was downloaded around 21 million times.
12) Avatar December 18, 2009 – 21 Million Downloads
Avatar takes place in the 22nd century and revolved around humans mining on a habitable moon surrounding a gas giant. The humans are expanding the mining colony, which is threatening the indigenous life, Na’vi. Avatar was directed, written, co-edited and co-produced by James Cameron. It starred Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez, Stephen Lang and Sigourney Weaver. The film was a massive success both critically and commercially. The film was praised for its writing, directing and groundbreaking achievements in visual technology. It’s one of the highest grossing films of all time. It won three Academy Awards for, Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction. Three sequels are currently in the works with expected release dates between 2017 and 2019. It is one of the most downloaded films of all time. In 2011, the film had been downloaded 21 Million times.
11) 300: Rise of an Empire March 7, 2014 – 23 Million Downloads
300: Rise of an Empire is the sequel to the 2007 film, 300. It’s based on two historical battles, the Battle of Artemisium and the Battle of Salamis. The film starred Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Hans Matheson, Lena Headey and Rodrigo Santoro. Noam Murro directed the film. It did well initially at the box office but its numbers dropped off each week. The film gained mostly mixed reviews. Most critics felt the movie relied too much on extreme gore and was not as good as the first film. However, many critics praised the performance of Eva Green. The film was downloaded illegally 23 million times.
10) American Hustle December 13, 2013 – 23.1 Million Downloads
American Hustle revolved around two con artists forced to work with the F.B.I to set up sting operations on politicians. The film starred Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Louis C.K. It was directed by David O. Russell and was based on the ABSCAM operation of the 70’s/80’s. The film was critically and commercially acclaimed. It was nominated for 10 awards at the Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress but ultimately won none. The film was highly praised for its cast, writing and directing. The film has been illegally downloaded 23.1 million times.
9) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire November 22, 2013 – 23.5 Million Downloads
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire revolved around Katniss Everdeen returning home after winning the 75th annual Hunger Games. She senses that a rebellion is brewing. The film is the sequel to The Hunger Games and is based on the second Novel in the Hunger Games trilogy. It starred Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and Lenny Kravitz. The film has been highly praised by critics and fans with many feeling it was better than the first film. Jennifer Lawrence was highly praised for her performance. The film did very well at the box office and set the record for an opening weekend in November. The film has been downloaded illegally 23.5 million times.
8) 12 Years A Slave November 8, 2013 – 23.6 Million Downloads
12 Years A Slave revolved around Solomon Northup, who was a New York born free African-American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He would work on the plantations in Louisiana for 12 years before being free. It was based on the memoir and life of Solomon Northup. Steve McQueen directed the film. It starred Chiwetel Ejiofor with Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson and Brad Pitt. The film was universally praised and critically acclaimed. It was widely considered the best film of 2013. It won three awards at the Oscars, including, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong’o. It was illegally downloaded 23.6 million times.
7) X-Men: Days of Future Past May 23, 2014 – 24.3 Million Downloads
X-Men: Days Of Future Past revolved around Wolverine going back in time to 1973 to save the world. The plot followed the mutants living in the future, as well as the past. It was based on the comic book of the same name. The film featured an ensemble cast, which included, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Ellen Page, Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen and Peter Dinklage. It’s the sequel to X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men: First Class, released in 2006 and 2011, respectively. The film received universal critical acclaim and is considered the best film in the X-Men Series. A sequel, X-Men: Apocalypse is currently in the works. The film was downloaded illegally 24.3 million times.
6) Captain America: The Winter Solider April 4, 2014 – 25.6 Million Downloads
Captain America: The Winter Solider followed Captain America trying to uncover a conspiracy in S.H.I.E.L.D. He also does battle with an assassin named, The Winter Solider. It starred Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson. It’s the sequel to Captain America: The First Avenger and the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was critically acclaimed and a huge success at the box office. The film brought in $714 million worldwide. A sequel is currently in the works, Captain America: Civil War and he will also be appearing in the upcoming film, Avengers: Age Of Ultron. Winter Solider was illegally downloaded 25.6 million times.
5) Thor: The Dark World November 8, 2013 – 25.7 Million Downloads
Thor: The Dark World follows Thor as he teams up with his brother, Loki, to save the Nine Realms from the evil Malekith. It is the sequel to Thor, released in 2011. It is also the eighth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor: The Dark World features the cast of Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Ray Stevenson and Anthony Hopkins. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Some critics felt it was an improvement from the first film, while other critics felt the sequel was the worse of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film did very well at the box office, bringing in $644 million worldwide. Thor will be appearing in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Thor: Ragnarok. Dark World was illegally downloaded around 25.7 million times
4) The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug December 13, 2013 – 27.6 Million Downloads
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second film in The Hobbit series. The plot followed Bilbo Baggins as he joins a group of Dwarves on their mission to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon, Smaug. Peter Jackson directed the film, which is based on the novel, The Hobbit. It features an ensemble cast, which includes, Martin Freeman, Ian Mckellen, Benedict Cubmerbatch, Evangeline Lilly and Orlando Bloom. The film received mostly positive reviews with most critics feeling that it was better than the first installment. Other critics felt that there was no need to split the book into three separate films. Regardless, the film was a box office success. The movie has been downloaded 27.6 million times illegally.
3) Gravity October 4, 2013 – 29.3 Million Downloads
Gravity followed two astronauts who become stranded in space after their space shuttle is destroyed. They must figure out a way back to Earth. The film was co-written, directed and produced by Alfonso Cauron. It starred Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The film received universal critical acclaim. The film has been praised for its writing, directing, score, cinematography, visual effects and acting. Specifically, Sandra Bullock received universal praise for her performance. The film has grossed $716 million worldwide. The film won seven academy awards including, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Visual Effects. The film has been downloaded approximately 29.3 million times.
2) Frozen November 27, 2013 – 29.9 Million Downloads
Frozen revolved around a brave princess, Anna, who goes on an epic and dangerous adventure to find her estranged sister, Elsa, who is trapped in an eternal winter. It’s based on the fairy tale, The Snow Queen. It features the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad and Santino Fontana. The music was by Christophe Beck, and Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez wrote the songs. The film is a massive success both commercially and critically. Many consider the film the best Disney Animated film since Disney’s Renaissance Era, which was between 1989 and 1999. It won two Academy Awards, Best Animated Feature and Best Song for “Let It Go”. It is the highest grossing animated film of all time. It was a huge box office success, bringing in around $1.3 billion worldwide. As of January 2015, the film is the number one Blu-ray disc in the US. Despite making all that money, the film has been illegally downloaded roughly 29.9 million times.
1) The Wolf Of Wall Street December 25, 2013 – 30 Million Downloads
The Wolf Of Wall Street depicted the rise and fall of Jordon Belfort, a stockbroker, whose firm committed fraud and corruption on Wall Street. The film is based on the real life of Jordon Belfort and his book of the same name. Martin Scorsese directed the film and it starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Kyle Chandler. The film was both critically and commercially acclaimed. It was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture, but did not win. The film also generated some controversy for its excessive drug use, sexuality and course language. Some critics also had issues with Belfort’s victims not being represented and for making Jordon Belfort into a celebrity. It made approximately $392 million worldwide. It has also been downloaded illegally around 30 million times.