We live in a time where piracy of movies, music, and various other forms of entertainment is oft-occurring problem. But how much does it really affect the success of those it victimizes?
It’s been officially declared that Avatar, director James Cameron‘s epic movie about humans trying to extract valuable elements from an alien planet inhabited a species known as the Na’vi, is the most pirated movie of 2010. The movie has been downloaded an astonishing 16,580,000 times…on BitTorrent alone. The previous record for downloads was 2009’s Star Trek at 10.9 million, if that tells you anything.
What might be even more shocking about this number is the lack of impact it seemed to have on the movie’s box office run. With an estimated budget of around $300 million, it was feared — though it sounds silly now — that the movie might be destined to flop, but it wasn’t long before Avatar was shattering records. Domestically, the movie brought in $760,507,625 (destroying Cameron’s other seemingly untouchable Titanic, which long sat at over $600 million), while overseas box office delivered $2,019,044,242, putting it very close to hitting $3 billion worldwide.
One can only imagine what these numbers would look like if piracy was non-existent and the 16.5 million downloads went into the pot. The percentage of those downloads that also went out and saw the film in theaters can’t be accounted for, but the numbers would surely be larger. Nevertheless, nothing was stopping Avatar from its dominant destiny.
Other films at the top of the most pirated movies of 2010 include Kick-Ass (Budget: $30 million, Worldwide Box Office: $96,130,432), Inception (Budget: $160 million, Worldwide Box Office: $825,446,026), Shutter Island (Budget: $80 million, Worldwide Box Office: $294,803,014), Iron Man 2 (Budget: $200 million, Worldwide Box Office: $621,751,988), Clash of the Titans (Budget: $125 million, Worldwide Box Office: $493,214,993), Green Zone (Budget: $100 million, Worldwide Box Office: $94,875,650), Sherlock Holmes (Budget: $90 million, Worldwide Box Office: $523,029,864), and Salt (Budget: $110 million, Worldwide Box Office: $293,502,218).
As you can see, the only real flop of all of these was Green Zone. Though the fight against piracy is still going strong, it’s clear that most of the bigger movies are still having no problem raking in a profit one way or another.