'The Wolf of Wall Street' trumps 'Frozen' for piracy

Internet piracy was one of 2014's most talked-about subjects, with the entertainment sector—and Hollywood in particular— being a major victim.

"The Wolf of Wall Street", Martin Scorsese's study of stockbroker excess, was named 2014's most illegally downloaded film in a top-20 list by Excipio, which detects online copyright infringements. It found that more than 30 million people individually downloaded the film illegally using Torrent software this year.

A scene from "The Wolf of Wall Street" starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Source: Thewolfofwallstreet.com

Disney's 2013 Christmas success "Frozen" narrowly missed the top spot for most pirated video in 2014, with 29.9 million Torrent users downloading the film this year. The film has grossed $1.27 billion worldwide since its release in 2013, according to Box Office Mojo, which tracks the movie industry.

As Excipio's data was collated from January 1 to December 23 2014, 2013 movies came out as more popular for pirating than those released this year.

Half of the top 20 most-pirated films of this year came out in theatres during 2013. Four 2013 movies were in this year's top five: "The Wolf of Wall Street", "Frozen", "Gravity" and "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug."

Warner Brothers suffered the most, with five of the top pirated films coming from its studio: "Gravity", "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug", "300: Rise of an Empire", "Godzilla" and "Edge of Tomorrow".

Sony Picture's movie "The Interview" has earned more than $15 million in online sales and is the company's most legally downloaded movie ever, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The movie was also downloaded illegally more than 1.5 million times from a torrent in its first two days of opening, according to the TorrentFreak news site.

Hackers attack Sony Pictures
Hackers attack Sony Pictures

TV shows get pirated too

More than eight million people illegally downloaded the "Game of Thrones" finale this year via BitTorrent. This made the HBO epic the most pirated television show for a third year running, according to a new list compiled by TorrentFreak.

Other TV favorites included "The Walking Dead", with 4.8 million illegal downloads for its top episode, "The Big Bang Theory" with 3.9 million downloads, "How I Met Your Mother" with 3.5 million and "Gotham" with 3.2 million.

In 2011, over 200,000 BitTorrent customers had been sued by the U.S. court over illegal file sharing and the sharing of copyrighted files within just eighteen months, according to TorrentFreak.

Read MoreIllegal downloading falls…Thank Netflix?

2014's Most Pirated Movies: The Top 20

  1. "The Wolf of Wall Street" (30.0 million)
  2. "Frozen" (29.9 million)
  3. "RoboCop"* (29.9 million – combined 1987's & 2014's release)
  4. "Gravity" (29.4 million)
  5. "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" (27.6 million)
  6. "Thor: The Dark World" (25.7 million)
  7. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" (25.6 million)
  8. "The Legend of Hercules" (25.1 million)
  9. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" (24.4 million)
  10. "12 Years a Slave" (23.7 million)
  11. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (23.5 million)
  12. "American Hustle" (23.1 million)
  13. "300: Rise of an Empire" (23.1 million)
  14. "Transformers: Age of Extinction" (21.7 million)
  15. "Godzilla" (20.9 million)
  16. "Noah" (20.3 million)
  17. "Divergent" (20.3 million)
  18. "Edge of Tomorrow" (20.3 million)
  19. "Captain Phillips" (19.8 million)
  20. "Lone Survivor" (19.1 million)

Source: Excipio