Avatar, the 20th Century Fox blockbuster directed by James Cameron, is the most pirated film in Hollywood history, according to a study released by TorrentFreak. The film has been downloaded some 21 million times since it was released in 2009.
Famously, Cameron once touted 3D filmmaking as the entertainment industry's best hope for combating piracy. Unfortunately, the 3D spectacle doesn't seem to have helped his film escape the wrath of torrent sites, but the film has raked in nearly $2.8 billion in wordwide theatrical gross nonetheless.
Avatar's 21 million downloads beat out 19 million downloads apiece for The Dark Knight and Transformers.
All of the films on the TorrentFreak's all-time list of "most pirated movies" did quite well at the box office. Only Kick-Ass failed to crack the $100 million mark, although it came close at $96 million.
Of course, theatrical gross is merely part of the story. Some studio executives believe that online piracy does its most damage on ancillary income like DVDs and TV sales.
Here's the full list of the top 10 most all-time pirated movies:
- Avatar (21 million downloads)
- The Dark Knight (19 million)
- Transformers (19 million)
- Inception (18 million)
- The Hangover (17 million)
- Star Trek (16 million)
- Kick-Ass (15 million)
- The Departed (14 million)
- The Incredible Hulk (14 million)
- Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End (14 million)