Star Trek Tops 2009’s Piracy List

Not unsurprisingly, “Star Trek” topped the list of the most pirated movies of 2009 according to Torrent Freak. Bootlegs of J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi epic pulled in 10.96 million downloads this year, easily beating last year’s winner “The Dark Knight” with 7 million downloads.

Some expected blockbusters saw placings in the Top Ten like this year’s “Harry Potter” and “Transformers” sequels, “The Hangover” and “Twilight”. It was the odd ones out though that surprised.

Chief among them was third place winner “RocknRolla”, Guy Ritchie’s 2008 British gangster drama/comedy that scored a mere $25 million at the worldwide box-office. The film however has since found a strong cult following on DVD, especially outside the US, and its 9.4 million downloads figure has surprised quite a few.

Less unusual but still surprising was Russell Crowe thriller “State of Play” at #8 with 7.4 million downloads. The film only did mediocre box-office ($87.8m globally) but the high download rate is probably explained by people being curious enough to have a better look at it but not go and see it. Same applies for Alex Proyas’ talked about “Knowing” at #10 with 6.9m downloads.

Despite all the free publicity about the unfinished print being available online, “Wolverine” came in at #9 with 7.2 million downloads. The full list is available below:

1. Star Trek – 10.96m
2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – 10.6m
3. RocknRolla – 9.43m
4. The Hangover – 9.18m
5. Twilight – 8.72m
6. District 9 – 8.28m
7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – 7.93m
8. State of Play – 7.44m
9. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – 7.2m
10. Knowing – 6.93m

The Top 10 accounts for 85.8 million downloads or around $770 million in potential lost profits according to studio claims. Of course that figure makes several dubious assumptions including that each download worked, and most notably that everyone who downloaded a copy would have paid a full ticket price to see the movie.

The reality is a figure likely a fraction of that – the most common download groups are generally considered to be those who wouldn’t pay to see the film anyhow (or at least certainly not in a cinema), or those in areas where the film is not available or very difficult to get to. The appearance of “RocknRolla” on the list is very much though to be a result of the latter as the film scored only a limited release in select territories.