'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Is 2013's Most Frequently Pirated Movie

This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a scene from the fantasy adventure "The Hobbit: An
This film image released by Warner Bros., shows Ian McKellen as Gandalf in a scene from the fantasy adventure "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." (AP Photo/Warner Bros., James Fisher)

Peter Jackson's second installment in the "Hobbit" trilogy is being heralded as one of the year's biggest box-office success stories, but it turns out movie theaters aren't the only arena in which the Middle-earth films are popular. The first "Hobbit" entry, "An Unexpected Journey," clocks in as the most frequently pirated movie of 2013, according to new rankings released by TorrentFreak.

"Journey," which opened Dec. 14, 2012, and raked in more than $1 billion worldwide, was pirated a whopping 8.4 million times throughout the year via BitTorrent networks. Even in light of the movie's impressive box-office tallies, that figure is cringeworthy when compared to the additional revenue "Journey" could have made, had those illegal downloads come in the form of ticket and DVD sales.

Two other commonly pirated movies ("Django Unchained," at No. 2, and "Silver Linings Playbook," at No. 5) also came from 2012, while the other seven movies arrived this year.

The complete Top 10:
1. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (8.4 million)
2. "Django Unchained" (8.1 million)
3. "Fast & Furious 6" (7.9 million)
4. "Iron Man 3" (7.6 million)
5. "Silver Linings Playbook" (7.5 million)
6. "Star Trek Into Darkness" (7.4 million)
7. "Gangster Squad" (7.2 million)
8. "Now You See Me" (7 million)
9. "The Hangover Part III" (6.9 million)
10. "World War Z" (6.7 million)

While it may be no surprise to see "The Hobbit" at No. 1, it does paint a different portrait than last year's most pirated movie. The critically reviled "Project X," made for $12 million (compared to "Hobbit's" reported budget of at least $200 million), topped the list in 2012. "Project X" collected $103 million at the box office worldwide and accrued 8.7 million illegal downloads. The remainder of the Top 10 was more predictable, populated with big-budget releases like "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "The Dark Knight Rises," "Marvel's The Avengers" and "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1."

Some of 2013's highest-grossing movies that did not make TorrentFreak's list include "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Despicable Me 2," "Man of Steel," "Monsters University" and "Oz the Great and Powerful." The rankings comprise downloads through mid-December, which is why the list skews more heavily toward movies released earlier in the year and in late 2012.

We learned last week that "Game of Thrones" was 2013's most commonly pirated television show for the second consecutive year. "Breaking Bad" and "The Walking Dead" also saw high volumes of illegal traffic.

For more on this year's movie rankings, head over to TorrentFreak.



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