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[Infographic] Top 10 most pirated movies of 2016

Posted by Marc Gassó on Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017

With the start of a new year comes new box office expectations. But as another year went by, online movie piracy seems nowhere close to being over. Now that 2017 begins, we go through last year’s most pirated films.

Most pirated films of2016.jpg

Last year was not a great one for the movie business. The sequels strategy that had been working so well for over a decade suddenly became a losing bet in 2016, causing the industry to, according to The Atlantic’s editor Derek Thompson, “sell the fewest U.S. tickets per person of any year since perhaps before the 1920s and the fewest total tickets in two decades”. And is not a matter of people disliking famous follow-ups, but rather of how people are watching movies, and, more accurately, where. 

Film piracy is most prevalent in younger generations

Now that streaming has become the first medium of movie consumption for younger generations, is not hard to understand why it's so common to find the latest films on illegal sites almost as soon as they hit theaters, especially if they are included in the box office predictions. People are becoming more familiar with streaming services like Netflix, itunes and Hulu, and the online demand for TV and film content is growing each day, thus, illegal sites are prone to appear. This has left many blaming Millennials 

Another factor is the preference for certain genres, “geeky” films, as stated by TorrentFreak, are the favorites among file-sharers and the most common ones to find in pirate sites. In the case of 2016, Hollywood was all about superheroes and action-fantasy stories, so it comes as no surprise that these films made the “Most pirated movies of 2016” list.

The most pirated movies of 2016

Of all the movies that hit theaters this past year, the overall winner was no other than ‘Deadpool’, which was released in the third week of January and became an instant success. Just on its opening weekend, the film reached a record breaking $130 million milestone at the box office, turning it into the most successful R-rated movie of all time. And the madness didn’t stop after the first week, the total estimated worldwide revenues surpassed the $750 million landmark. Of course, it took only a few weeks for pirates to start sharing the famous motion picture online, generating millions of illegal downloads over the following months.

Other famous names that made the list include ‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Captain America Civil War’, Star Wars The Force Awakens and ‘X-Men Apocalypse’, all of which are also included in the year’s top grossing movies catalogue.

In the infographic below you can appreciate the complete list with the worldwide revenues of each film.


As shown above, everything from superhero movies to children’s films fell victim of online piracy. With the growing trend of streaming services and the declining movie attendance, it seems this issue will only continue to grow, leaving the movie industry facing an enormous challenge.

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About the author

Marc Gassó

Post Written by Marc Gassó

Marc Gassó is a Marketing & Demand Generation specialist and content writer. He graduated from Facultat Comuncació Blanquerna with a BSc Hons in Advertsising and Public Relations.