What Were The Most Pirated Movies Of 2014?

Many of the most pirated films of 2014 were actually released in 2013. This actually makes sense if you think about it, since many buzzy films are released at the end of the year, when people are actually going to see movies and, most importantly, when the awards season draws near. Additionally, the 2013 films had a whole year to rake up the downloads, while popular 2014 films like Guardians of the Galaxy haven't had as much time, and thus didn't make the list.

The most pirated film is The Wolf of Wall Street, which was released in December of 2014. This actually seems pretty appropriate. The film, for those who didn't pirate it in 2014, is about the Wall Street of the 1980s and the dubious dealings and ridiculous excesses of its stockbrokers. It's about people who take whatever they want with no legal consequences, sort of like, well, pirates. Though I'm not equating the criminal behavior in the movie to people who torrent movies, I don't think this is a coincidence. The Wolf of Wall Street and internet piracy are both irreverent and morally dubious, and I imagine there being a lot of overlap in internet piracy and Wall Street appreciators.

Personally, I might be more likely to download an ethically questionable film like Wall Street (though it was a satire, some including myself wondered why it did so little to criticize all the bad behavior) than something I consider more substantial, like 12 Years A Slave (number nine on the list).

Now, not all pirated movies are so cynical; the heartwarming celebration of sisterhood that is Frozen came in second. I'd say a common theme throughout the list is that they received a lot of buzz in 2013, whether in awards shows, because of controversies, or because of box office success. I can imagine a lot of people downloading these films to see what all the fuss is about, perhaps because they feel left out of the conversation.

Here's the list, courtesy of Variety and the piracy tracking service Excipio, organized by number of downloads. Note: the RoboCop entry combines the downloads for the 1987 original and the 2014 reboot.

1. “The Wolf of Wall Street”: 30.035 million (Paramount, Dec. 25, 2013)2. “Frozen”: 29.919 million (Disney, Nov. 27, 2013)3. “RoboCop”: 29.879 million (MGM, Feb. 12, 2014; and Orion, July 17, 1987)4. “Gravity”: 29.357 million (Warner Bros., Oct. 4, 2013)5. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: 27.627 million (Warner Bros., Dec. 13, 2013)6. “Thor: The Dark World”: 25.749 million (Disney/Marvel, Nov. 8, 2013)7. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”: 25.628 million (Disney/Marvel, April 4, 2014)8. “The Legend of Hercules”: 25.137 million (Summit, Jan. 10, 2014)9. “X-Men: Days of Future Past”: 24.380 million (20th Century Fox, May 23, 2014)10. “12 Years a Slave”: 23.653 million (Fox Searchlight, Oct. 18, 2013)11. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”: 23.543 million (Lionsgate, Nov. 22, 2013)12. “American Hustle”: 23.143 million (Sony/Columbia, Dec. 13, 2013)13. “300: Rise of an Empire”: 23.096 million (Warner Bros., March 7, 2014)14. “Transformers: Age of Extinction”: 21.65 million (Paramount, June 27, 2014)15. “Godzilla”: 20.956 million (Warner Bros., May 16, 2014)16. “Noah”: 20.334 million (Paramount, March 28, 2014)17. “Divergent”: 20.312 million (Lionsgate, March 21, 2014)18. “Edge of Tomorrow”: 20.299 million (Warner Bros., June 6, 2014)19. “Captain Phillips”: 19.817 million (Sony/Columbia, Oct. 11, 2013)20. “Lone Survivor”: 19.130 million (Universal, Dec. 25, 2013)

Image: Paramount Pictures