December 28, 2012 10:45am PT by Philiana Ng
'Project X' Most Pirated Film of 2012
The year saw several blockbusters hit the multiplexes, but the most downloaded film of 2012 was one that slipped under the radar: Project X.
A found-footage comedy directed by Nima Nourizadeh and produced by Todd Phillips, Project X topped the likes of The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol for the title of most pirated, TorrentFreak reports. According to the website, Project X was downloaded 8.72 million times and made the least money among the top 10 movies on the list with its $101 million global take.
How did Project X top the box-office heavyweights? One theory is that the film, reportedly inspired by a rager thrown by a Melbourne teen, might have appealed to Australia natives.
Close behind at No. 2 is Tom Cruise's fourth Mission Impossible film, with 8.5 million downloads. The Dark Knight Rises (8.23 million), the year's top grosser The Avengers (8.11 million) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (7.85 million) round out the top five.
Interestingly, as the report notes, such popular films as The Hunger Games and the newest James Bond pic Skyfall did not crack the top 10.
TorrentFreak noted that it is "unclear" whether illegal downloads of films seriously hurt box-office revenue, noting that researchers found "no evidence" linking piracy to smaller U.S. grosses. However, there is a link between piracy and international revenue.
On the TV side, HBO's Game of Thrones epic topped the list of most pirated television shows of the year, with nearly 4.3 million illegal downloads.
The top 10 most-downloaded films of 2012:
1. Project X
2. Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol
3. The Dark Knight Rises
4. The Avengers
5. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
6. 21 Jump Street
7. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
8. The Dictator
9. Ice Age: Continental Drift
10. Twilight: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1