Although the shadowy underworld of film torrenting might be difficult to truly keep an eye on, TorrentFreak has crunched the numbers from several sites to report on the most downloaded films of 2013. Topping the list of last year’s pirated movies was the first installment of Peter Jackson’s second Tolkien trilogy.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, which returns to Middle-earth with Sir Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage, racked up an estimated total of 8.4 million pirate downloads in 2013. Though the statistics on an illegal and often anonymous practice like torrenting can be difficult to obtain, TorrentFreak cited sources such as public BitTorrent trackers.
The list of top 10 pirated films runs the gamut between sci-fi and fantasy geekfests such as The Hobbit and Star Trek Into Darkness, to Oscar nominated films such as Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained, and crowd favorites like The Hangover Part 3 and Fast and Furious 6. Although it is unclear what effect torrenting and illegal downloads has on the film industry in total, TorrentFreak stated in their report that box office earnings for 2013 reached an all-time high by taking in almost $11 billion throughout the year.
(Image credit: MGM)