In the heart of the summer, it sort of looked like 2016 wasn’t going to be a great year for movies, with many of the anticipated blockbusters disappointing fans and critics. Fortunately, things wound up working out and the year turned out some really great movies. It turns out that quite a few people wanted to see those movies, but they just didn’t want to pay to see them, so they pirated them instead. As 2016 comes to a close, it looks like Deadpool will get the honor of being the most pirated movie of the year.
The news comes courtesy of TorrentFreak, who looked at what movies were downloaded the most throughout the year on public torrent sites. When all of the numbers were crunched, Ryan Reynolds’ R-rated superhero affair came out on top. Deadpool still did very well at the box office and was one of the biggest surprises of the year both critically and financially. The most successful in the X-Men franchise to date, actually. So the pirating didn’t seem to hurt the movie in the end. To that point, most of the movies on the list wound up doing very well at the box office. The popularity seemed to correlate to the demand for piracy.
Most of the superhero movies from 2016 made it on the list, which shouldn’t be all that surprising, given how popular they are. The only one that didn’t crack the top 10 was Doctor Strange, but since the movie just came out in November it probably didn’t have time to rack up as many illegal downloads. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice came in at number two, which was easily one of the most divisive movies of the year, perhaps only rivaled by Suicide Squad, the other Warner Bros., DC Comics-based movie released this year. That movie came in at number eight on the list, but Batman V Superman had a five-month head start in terms of its release date, so that is probably why Suicide Squad was so much lower on the list.
Interestingly enough, the top three most pirated movies, which had Captain America: Civil War at the number three spot, were all in order of their respective theatrical release date. That pattern broke at number four, which saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens creeping in. Again, the impact of piracy on the profitability of that movie seemed to be minimal, since it went on to become the third-highest-grossing movie of all time with more than $2 billion worldwide. The only movie on the list that sort of broke the pattern of being a hit at the box office was Independence Day: Resurgence, which came in at number 7. That movie disappointed in nearly every way, bringing in only $387 million worldwide and becoming one of the worst reviewed movies of the summer.
X-Men: Apocalypse would be the next closest thing to a bomb on this list. It still made $543 million worldwide, but that is a steep decline from the previous entry in the franchise, which was X-Men: Days of Future Past. That movie brought in $747 million worldwide and was received much more positively by fans and critics. Warcraft came in at number six on the list and though that movie made less than X-Men: Apocalypse ($433 million), it would be hard to call it a “flop,” since it is now the highest-grossing video game movie ever made. The list was rounded out by a couple more big hits, including Pixar’s Finding Dory, which grossed more than $1 billion worldwide and came in at number nine. Finally, in the number ten spot was The Revenant, the movie that finally earned Leonardo DiCaprio his Oscar. It is likely that him winning the Academy Award helped push that movie into the top ten. You can check out the full list of 2016’s most pirated movies for yourself below.
2. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
3. Captain America: Civil War
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
5. X-Men: Apocalypse
7. Independence Day: Resurgence
8. Suicide Squad
9. Finding Dory
10. The Revenant