I'm not suggesting we should compare these lists directly as there's an offset between the availabilities of these films.
For example, a film may have finished its cinema run before the start of 2013 but then gone on to be deeply pirated after the New Year. Or, perhaps, a film may have been released late enough in 2013 that it wasn't available to pirates until near the year's end.
In any case, there is some crossover, and it shows that the audience for the big screen has a lot in common with copyright disrespecting crooks and criminals… as well as there being some obvious distinctions on display. Consider Gangster Squad, for example…
So, first, the top ten pirated films as per Torrent Freak. The download counts are obviously approximate.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – 8,400,000 downloads
- Django Unchained – 8,100,000 downloads
- Fast And Furious 6 – 7,900,000 downloads
- Iron Man 3 – 7,600,000 downloads
- Silver Linings Playbook – 7,500,000 downloads
- Star Trek Into Darkness – 7,400,000 downloads
- Gangster Squad 7,200,000 downloads
- Now You See Me 7,000,000 downloads
- The Hangover Part 3 – 6,900,000 downloads
- World War Z – 6,700,000 downloads
And now, the top ten movies as per Box Office Mojo (with the last couple of days dollars to be factored in)
- Iron Man 3 – $409,013,994
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – $390,985,322
- Despicable Me 2 – $367,736,345
- Man of Steel – $291,045,518
- Monsters University – $268,492,764
- Gravity – $254,587,000
- Frozen – $248,117,795
- Fast & Furious 6 – $238,679,850
- Oz The Great and Powerful – $234,911,825
- Star Trek Into Darkness – $228,778,661
Those are just the US grosses. The international chart is still settling down.
My first observation would be that family films perform very well in cinemas but don't attract such a deluge of piracy… though, of course, Torrent Freak aren't accounting for the bootleg discs for sale down by the school gates.
My second observation would be that Man of Steel is conspicuous by its absence from the piracy charts. Maybe it's that timing issue.
Well, I'm glad the box office is so healthy (at this level at least) even while so many are stealing movies.