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The Most Pirated Movies on the Internet

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — James Cameron can now claim another cinema record. Not only is the director responsible for the two best-selling movies of all time – Avatar and Titanic – but one of them also happens to be the most pirated movie on the Internet. We’re sure he must be thrilled.

Avatar has been downloaded 21 million times since its release in 2009, making it the movie with the single most illegal downloads, according to a recent report from TorrentFreak, a blog that has tracked downloads each week on the leading downloading site BitTorrent since 2006. While there are other ways to pirate movies, TorrentFreak’s list provides a comprehensive snapshot of the types of films Internet users download most, and without fail, they tend to be big box-office hits.

The Dark Knight and Transformers tie for second place on the list with 19 million downloads each, followed by hugely popular movies like Inception and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. With just one exception, every movie on the list grossed more than a quarter billion dollars at the box office, showing that illegal downloaders flock to blockbusters.

At the same time, TorrentFreak suggests the numbers show pirating a movie doesn’t necessarily hurt the film’s sales quite as much as one might think, though who knows? Perhaps Avatar would have earned Cameron an extra $1 billion in DVD and box-office sales if not for all the movies that were pirated.

Here is TorrentFreak’s list of the 10 most downloaded movies:

1. Avatar (2009):  21 million downloads

2. The Dark Knight (2008): 19 million downloads

3. Transformers (2007): 19 million downloads

4. Inception (2010): 18 million downloads

5. The Hangover (2009): 17 million downloads

6. Star Trek (2008): 16 million downloads

7. Kick-Ass (2010): 15 million downloads

8. The Departed (2006): 14 million downloads

9. The Incredible Hulk (2008): 14 million downloads

10. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007): 14 million downloads

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