'Avatar,' 'Kick-Ass' most pirated films of 2010
December 22nd, 2010
04:58 PM ET

'Avatar,' 'Kick-Ass' most pirated films of 2010

Even among the movies that have been pirated, “Avatar” takes the top spot.

The Oscar-winning film - already the highest-grossing movie of all time after pulling in $2.8 billion at the global box office - was the most pirated movie of 2010 having been downloaded from torrent websites 16,580,000 million times, according to TorrentFreak.com. Never before has TorrentFreak seen that many downloads of a movie within one year, the website reports.

“Avatar” was followed by “Kick-Ass,” this spring’s super-hero movie starring Aaron Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Moretz, that had some kick ass attitude. It earned a modest $48 million at the box office, but the film was downloaded from torrent sites 11.4 million times.

In third place is “Inception,” starring the highest-grossing actor of 2010, Leonardo DiCaprio. The mind-bending film was downloaded 9.7 million times, according to TorrentFreak.

Rounding out the top five are “Shutter Island” (downloaded 9,490,000 times) and “Iron Man 2”  (8,810,000 times). Another Oscar winner, "The Hurt Locker," came in at No. 9 with 6.85 million downloads.

Filed under: Avatar • movies

soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. pymnAreme

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    April 9, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andrew

    I really can't understand why so many people felt in love with this movie 🙂 I hate it even if I wrote a review on my website :

    December 28, 2010 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dave

    See the Avatar numbers phony. There are at least two different versions of Avatar out right now. So they should be split up. Which would give it about 8 million per movie. not the most downloaded movie of the year.

    December 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. catfoodman


    December 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Querhea

    The only movies I know is Avatar,which is a very awesome movie,and Kick-@$%,which is the dumbest movie EVER!!!

    December 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Don

    I say we nuke 'em all!!! oops sorry wrong thread.

    December 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AJ

    U all are funny! Money machine makers are all to it! Good or bad!

    December 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. karla

    The bad guys were the people that are usually the good guys, interesting point of movie.

    December 23, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Duraxx

    It's too bad that a really good movie like Kick-Ass was viewed a flop... meanwhile it was a flop simply b/c its audience pirated the movie like crazy (over 11 million!) rather than shell out some loot. The sad thing is... there wont be other movies like Kick-Ass simply because people didn't put their money where there mouth was.

    December 23, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  10. lynnsiane

    I loved Avatar I went to the movies and saw it in IMAX, 3D, and on the regular screen. The graphics were out of this world, and the story was cool as well I think it would be neat to be able to put yourself in a coma and turn into something else and live a totally new and different experience 🙂

    December 23, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  11. big Al

    When you state "Ripping people off" since when is profit a 4 letter word? Own a business and see the other side of life 360 instead of 180!

    December 23, 2010 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Thor

    Blame it on Obama and his Socialist agenda.

    December 23, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. mattyo

    Avatar was a visual orgasm. Cameron did an amazing job with that aspect of the film. However the plot is just an overglorified and poorly rendered version of Pochahontis (unubtanium? really?) I don't see why everyone always craps their pants about pirating. As seen above a lot of people (myself included) payed to see the movie. The movie industry doesn't need to be so butthurt by all of this.

    December 23, 2010 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. badgerpoo

    I eat dogs

    December 23, 2010 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
  15. moribundman

    I just know it's a crappy "article" if there isn't even an author who wants credit for the piece. And it's a real piece.

    December 23, 2010 at 5:47 am | Report abuse |
  16. D-rock

    Really. I mean seriously. These movies all had entertaining values. It's amazing people expect masterpieces every time they make the trip to the theaters. If u think u can do better, please prove it.... I won't complain. But all these films listed still beat Alvin and the chipmunks or high school musical 2674547. These films obviously made an impact

    December 23, 2010 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  17. lala

    inception- amazing ~ changed my life Lol , avatar- mediocre long as hell =[ kind of dumb & who really cares about people pirating movies?

    December 23, 2010 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  18. Mandy

    Personally, I thought Avatar was ok, but liked Pocohantas so much better.
    That's what Avatar was, Pocohantas only with blue people, they
    Even copied Grandmother Willow.

    December 23, 2010 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  19. buttercups

    Avatar sucked big hairy balls!

    December 23, 2010 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      Instead of antagonizing others because you don't like something as trivial as a movie, just let people enjoy it, or at least keep your comments civilized.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  20. D willikers

    I think it's hilarious that they said Avatar was downloaded 16.5+ Quadrillion times, but: Why do people attack CNN every chance they get? Lol

    December 23, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  21. carebear

    I saw Avatar, it was long but good. Wasn't able see the others but its the down thing is movie high ups are just upset they can't get paid, like the singers do. Thanks to the whole naspter blow up people just want to be greedy and spoil it for others who can't afford blue ray or even cable

    December 23, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  22. djmc32

    And true,downloading does not hurt big studios as much..but would any of you invest in low budget fare?not with half a brain in your skull

    December 23, 2010 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  23. lucy

    What ridiculous crap u blog about...get lives and live them. Whether its blog worthy, its ur life.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  24. djmc32

    Howard....its not one of a kind buddy.they made dances with wolves awhile ago.actually,its just an excuse to cash in on the war..cameron is just a less honest(if its possible) cheny.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  25. ana7elu

    Avatar, is good movie or not? numbers talk! 2.8 bl.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      Wow. this comment leaves me to believe that you're one of the people who would answer "yes" to the question:

      If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you too?

      Just because a ton of people are doing it doesn't mean it's right. Frickin shiznits man, i bet if you lived in Germany during the Holocaust you'd have either been a Nazi, or killed yourself if you were a Jew because "numbers talk" and millions of other Jews were being killed so it must be the right thing to do.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  26. michele

    Cheesefury i just wanna say i see you on almost every blog and you have some funny a_ _ comments. thank you 🙂

    December 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  27. michele

    I didnt see avatar. i was given mixed ratings on this movie so i cant say yea or na about it.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  28. un1k3n

    I'm not the 1st to point it out, but there are about 7 billion people on the planet. CNN says we averaged over 2,000 illegal downloads per person. Way to be trustworthy, "news" organization!

    December 22, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  29. howard

    all i know is avatar was a great movie, gets the brain to thinking and its a one of a kind movie. also who cares if people are pirating movies, everyone involed in the movie will still be paid. so the movie industry needs to calm down and be happy that most of the sorry ass movies make money at all.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  30. ScapeGoat

    I think people are missing the point.

    Studio's would have us believe that "highest grossing" and "most downloaded" are mutually exclusive. The truth is that downloads are not stealing significant revenue, and even if they were, a popular movie can still make more then enough money to cover the budget and rake in exorbitant profits.

    People are jobless and starving in the street, and they want to cry about the extra theoretical billion they should of made.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Well said.... Highest grossing and most downloaded! $2.8 bil... Wow
      The government should get in the movie biz and pay down our deficit!

      December 22, 2010 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      Lol Andy, 2.8 billion wouldn't do crap to our defecit.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  31. bremen3011

    I watched it in IMAX, then again in a regular theater, then later I downloaded a dvd screener rip from a torrent, watched that (never sold it or showed it to anyone). I also bought the DVD when it came out and I plan on soon buying the Blue-Ray.
    Point of this is not all people who pirate movies are people who don't pay and make theaters or stores lose out on money.

    December 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • jheron

      Very true. Some people download just to be able to watch it while they wait for the DVD/Bluray...
      In all likelihood...streaming will be the most effective way to combat piracy..I think a lot of people will decide not to waste harddrive space on a movie or the time to burn a DVD if they can just stream the movie any time they want. The question is how to come up with a profitable business model for the studios.

      December 23, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
    • VoodooChild

      uh...there's this little company called Netflix.

      December 23, 2010 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  32. bill

    3eading these comments was. A quadtrilion more times entertaining than seeing these movies man I really laughfed especialy at jooan a eveans the 3rd that is classic.

    What if I watched the movie in a theatre and downloaded it to?


    December 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Superhiro

    I know a lot of people like to talk smack about Avatar, but imo, that was the best of the three movies listed here. I'm sorry, but Inception just plain sucked. Nothing more than a limp dick action movie disguised as a half assed intellectual movie, and Kick-Ass.... was also just stupid. At least Avatar can tell a story coherently.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • qwerty

      Inception one of greatest movie all time. Avatar bad

      December 23, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      I disagree. Christopher Nolan did a great job with Inception. It was well-made, well-acted, and it had me hooked the whole time. Avatar, on the other hand, was amazingly (and sadly, for a movie with such hype) predictable and I hated that it was almost entirely made of CGI. Avatar was a sort of mindless movie, Inception was great. It had you thinking of entirely new concepts and it was very well done.
      Regardless, props to both Christopher Nolan and James Cameron; they're obviously doing something right because both "16,580,000 million (lol)" and "9.7 million" people think their stuff is worth breaking the law for.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:32 am | Report abuse |
  34. David

    So what? The movie wasn't even that good. Besides I saw Ferngully as a kid.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  35. JohnA.Evans3rd

    DiCapri0 good actor

    December 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      ...Dicaprio wasn't in Avatar, thank god. The movie was just an adapted version of Pocahontas. I think it was enjoyable to watch, and props to James Cameron for developing the technology necessary to make it. However, it wasn't THAT great. Personally I don't like movies with too much CGI because then i'm thinking "this is so fake" the entire movie, and it kinda wrecks the experience.
      Still, it was a good movie.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan is Facepalmin'

      Oop! Gotta call myself out now; I didn't read the article before I wrote that comment. My bad dude.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  36. tyler

    I saw that movie and I thought it was good the blue people were cool and also in the beginning there was military people they looked like they were Marines that was cool because I like the military. My friend saw that movie and he thought it was good to.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  37. tyler

    I saw that movie and I thought it was good the blue people were cool and also in the begining there was military people they looked like they were Marines that was cool because I like the military.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  38. BrofromtheO

    I can honestly say that I did not illegally download this movie. I just bought an illegally downloaded copy.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  39. lotan

    Who cares,the greedy people in movie industry have been ripping off fans for years.Not to mention,the theaters them selves way overcharging for tickets,snacks, and beverages.

    I don't care if u agree with me or not,just my own opinion.The majority of people who dl'ed them would never have paid theater prices to see them anyways.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mok

      ohhh, but to have seen it in an Imax theatre...something that is way better than watching it on a 22" lcd with your supply of mountain dew, cheetos, and hand lotion.

      December 23, 2010 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  40. Jane

    Why are these sites even operating ?


    December 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Name*Tony

    Avatar was a stupid movie.The movie's popularity shows how ignorant people are.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      The list should be updated and corrected a once, CNN.

      Second most popular thing downloaded was Name*Tony's momma.

      December 23, 2010 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree with you. The special 3d effects were amazing but the story about some American company going to another planet to take the natural resources with total disregard for the 'people' who live there was very boring. The same story has been used in other movies many times. Also, the boy meets alien girl and falls in love was also lame.

      December 23, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mok

      At least the people who didnt like the movie have 'Glee' to keep their interest.
      Avatar was an incredible movie regardless of whether the theme was new or not. If it didnt take you into the realm of another possibility, then you most likely missed the point.
      So, enjoy your next episode of Glee and dont hurt yourself trying to be imaginative.
      Merry Xmas

      December 23, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Lamp

      Awww...Tony is just upset that his hand isnt putting out anymore. Its ok buddy, the left hand may have been watching from afar. It may not be as pretty as the other hand but Im sure it will be loyal and trustworthy.

      December 23, 2010 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • flow

      I agreed with u, Avatar is really a silly movie & the people who love it are equally silly like the movie itself.

      December 23, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  42. Kyle

    Am I the only one who noticed that thanks to poor editing this article claims Avatar has been downloaded sixteen and a half quadrillion times?

    "the most pirated movie of 2010 having been downloaded from torrent websites 16,580,000 million times"

    That "million" in there was not needed when the number was already completely typed out, unless they actually intended to inflate the number to 16.58 quadrillion. Pedantic, I know, but the apparent lack of any editorial ability at most major publications – online and in print – really irks me, so I call them out on it when I see it. Hire a damned proofreader.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      And now I have to call myself out on it, since I wasn't the first after all, and I did the conversion wrong. *facepalm*

      December 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Well, if you had noticed, CNN stopped editing its articles a few years ago.

      December 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  43. the_dude

    Why download it? that avatard movie sucked the big one.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Larry

    "16,580,000 million times"?

    Either Avatar was downloaded over 16 trillion times or that's quite the typo. My money's on the latter.

    December 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheefsfury


      December 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      I LOL'd at your comment xD
      It would, however, be hilarious if us 6.2-something billion-and-counting hoomins (misspelled intentionally) did manage to download it that many times.

      December 23, 2010 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  45. killstorm

    It's the studio's fault for making you want to watch them so bad.

    December 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • thecrow

      "Killing the indigenous looks bad, but there’s one thing shareholders hate more than bad press — and that’s a bad quarterly statement."


      December 23, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  46. big Al

    Cheesfury did your mom have you doing your chores and cleaning your room since you weren't the first to comment here? Merry Christmas buddy!

    December 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • cheefsfury


      December 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ngek

      Ha ha why bother paying money when you can watch it for free! Hello recession!!

      December 23, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Muneeb Khan

      @Big Al:
      Lol you can't even spell his name right.

      and @Cheefsfury:
      I LOL'd at your comments. Props to you man (or woman?), you're hilarious!

      December 23, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |

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