question of the day: What do you make of the list of the most pirated movies in 2011?

Paul Walker Vin Diesel Fast Five

Did you download a movie illegally in 2011? You might be counted in this list of the most pirated movies of last year, compiled by TorrentFreak and via Mashable:
1. Fast Five – 9.26m downloads; $US636.1m worldwide box office
2. The Hangover Part II – 8.84m; $581.46m
3. Thor – 8.3m; $449.3m
4. Source Code – 7.9m; $123.2
5. I Am Number Four – 7.67m; $144.5m
6. Sucker Punch – 7.2m; $89.79m
7. 127 Hours – 6.9m; $60.7m
8. Rango – 6.48m; $US245.15m
9. The King’s Speech – 6.25m; $414.2m
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – 6m; $1.3bn

A bit of context from Ernesto at TorrentFreak:

The total number of downloads for Fast Five pales in comparison to last year’s victor Avatar which was downloaded more than 16 million times. This downward trend is also visible throughout the rest of the top 10, where the average number of downloads is lower than in 2010.

In part this drop might be explained by the increase in legal alternatives, although upcoming alternative piracy sources (such as cyberlockers and steaming sites) may have also had an effect. However, since the total number of active BitTorrent users isn’t shrinking, the downloads may simply be spread out over more titles in 2011.

And from Samantha Murphy at Mashable:

Although Fast Five brought in about $626 million at the box office, it only ranked sixth in overall ticket sales.

Meanwhile, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 brought in the most money at theaters worldwide with $1.3 billion, but it was only ranked 10th in pirated downloads (6 million downloads).

Many films that topped the list weren’t blockbuster hits, and the second and third top earners at the box office – Transformers: Dark of the Moon and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – didn’t make the top 10.

What do you make of the list of the most pirated movies in 2011?

My big question would be, How were these pirate downloads spread across each film’s release cycle? Did it make a difference if there was a pristine version of a film leaked from a studio at the same time as theatrical release? (Or do all Hollywood films end up leaked online in pristine versions by theatrical release?) That could possibly be a reason why some very popular movies at the box office don’t show up in this list: because there wasn’t a version available online that was enjoyable to watch. Were there spikes in downloads once DVD rips of films became available?

All TorrentFreak has to say on such matters is:

All release formats, including cammed versions are counted.

And there’s this, too: Downloaded doesn’t mean viewed. How many people download a movie, watch a few minutes, and then quit? How many people downloaded a movie they had paid to see in theaters, just for the weird kick of it?

Your thoughts?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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