The ten most pirated movies and TV shows of 2012

As we approach the end of 2012, the folks over at TorrentFreak have put together their annual lists of the most pirated movies and TV shows from the past twelve months, which is based upon the number of illegal downloads from various torrent sites.

Despite the inclusion of box office behemoths such as The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, the found footage comedy Project X was the most pirated movie of the year with an estimated 8,720,000 (and also the lowest-grossing release to feature in the top ten), while HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones overtook Dexter to become the most-downloaded TV show of 2012, peaking at 4,280,000 downloads for a single episode.

Here’s the ten most downloaded movies of 2012, along with the estimated number of downloads and global box office grosses…

1. Project X – 8,720,000 downloads, $100,931,865 gross
2. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – 8,500,000 downloads, $694,713,380 gross
3. The Dark Knight Rises – 8,230,000 downloads, $1,081,041,287 gross
4. The Avengers – 8,110,000 downloads, $1,511,757,910 gross
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – 7,850,000 downloads, $543,848,418 gross
6. 21 Jump Street – 7,590,000 downloads, $201,585,328 gross
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – 7,420,000 downloads, $232,617,430 gross
8. The Dictator – 7,330,000 downloads, $177,547,352 gross
9. Ice Age: Continental Drift – 6,960,000 downloads, $875,093,094 gross
10. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 – 6,740,000 downloads, $712,171,856 gross

And here are the ten most pirated TV shows of 2012, along with the estimated number of single episode downloads, and estimated total US TV audience for each show…

1. Game of Thrones – 4,280,000 downloads, 4,200,000 total US viewers
2. Dexter – 3,850,000 downloads, 2,750,000 total US viewers
3. The Big Bang Theory – 3,200,000 downloads, 15,820,000 total US viewers
4. How I Met Your Mother – 2,960,000 downloads, 10,140,000 total US viewers
5. Breaking Bad – 2,580,000 downloads, 2,980,000 total US viewers
6. The Walking Dead – 2,550,000 downloads, 10,870,000 total US viewers
7. Homeland – 2,400,000 downloads, 2,360,000 total US viewers
8. House – 2,340,000 downloads, 9,780,000 total US viewers
9. Fringe – 2,280,000 downloads, 3,120,000 total US viewers
10. Revolution – 2,130,000, 11,650,000 total US viewers

Around the Web

  • GL

    It's pretty laughable when someone is doing straight calculation number of downloads x ticket price = industry losses. Well… If you think that if unable to download "avengers" i would spent a dime to see it at the cinema (alongside of 40 minutes of commercials and stinking popcorn) you're wrong, so counting it as a loss it's misunderstanding (well… I didn't even

  • There's nothing in there about industry losses – the $ figures are the films' US box office grosses. Can't see how anyone could make a reliable estimate on losses, there's too much to take into account with rentals, home releases, whether people would actually bother to watch it if they couldn't steal it, the list goes on…

  • Andy

    Misinformation ALERT: the numbers you used are NOT US box office returns, but more like worldwide grosses. The last 'Twilight Saga' installment is coming close to grossing $300M at the US box office, it's nowhere near your figure: $712,171,856 US gross.

  • Hi Andy, they aren't our figures, but you're right they're worldwide grosses. Have amended, thanks for that.