Science fiction epic Interstellar has topped the list of 2015’s most pirated movies, and the global number of illegal downloads appears to be on the rise.
Piracy tracking firm Excipio monitored BitTorrent downloads from the beginning of the year until December 25, with the figures published in entertainment magazine Variety.
According to Excipio, during that period, Interstellar – directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway – was downloaded a whopping 46.7 million times.
Blockbusters Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World took the following three spots.
Interstellar was released in late 2014 – meaning it was available for download throughout the entirety of Excipio’s monitoring period – but Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Jurassic World were all 2015 releases.
While the figures released by Excipio did not reveal overall pirating figures, the number of downloads of this year’s top films was far higher than 2014’s.
Interstellar garnered a whopping 56 per cent more downloads than The Wolf of Wall Street, the most downloaded flick of 2014.
The Wolf of Wall Street, which was downloaded just over 30 million times, would not have made the top 10 in 2015, with the 10th placed film, The Secret Service, nabbing just below 31 million downloads.
The top 10 illegally downloaded movies of 2015 were:
- Interstellar (2014) — 46.7 million downloads
- Furious 7 (2015) — 44.8 million downloads
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) — 41.6 million downloads
- Jurassic World (2015) — 36.9 million downloads
- Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) — 36.4 million downloads
- American Sniper (2014) — 33.9 million downloads
- Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) — 32.1 million downloads
- The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armys (2014) — 31.5 million downloads
- Terminator: Genisys (2015) — 31 million downloads
- The Secret Service (2014) — 30.9 million downloads
Growing overseas markets drive rise in pirating
The Excipio figures were not broken down by geography, but statistics released in October revealed a 4 per cent drop in illegal downloading in Australia.
At the time, executive director of the IP Awareness Foundation, Lori Flekser, said the drop could be attributed to streaming services including “game-changers” Netflix and Stan, which launched in Australia in early 2015.
But co-editor-in-chief of Variety, Andrew Wallenstein, wrote that growing overseas markets, such as Brazil, had driven a rapid global rise in pirating.
Over the past year, internet service providers (ISPs) in Australia, including iiNet, have been embroiled in a legal dispute with the makers of another Matthew McConaughey film, Dallas Buyers Club, over illegal downloads.
The filmmakers demanded the ISPs hand over the details of Australians accused of illegally downloading the movie.
But earlier this month the Australian Federal Court dismissed the case, ruling that the filmmakers would not be able claim damages from the almost 5000 people who allegedly infringed the studio’s copyright by downloading the film.