Pirated Blu-Ray/DVD’s for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance entered the illicit Top 10 this week – as did R5 copies of The Vow and TS copies of  21 Jump Street.  The new entrants debuted at #4, #5 and #6,  respectively, while M.I. Ghost Protocol, We Bought a Zoo, and The Grey held onto the Top 3 most-pirated spots.

A Theatrical Screener (TS) copy being propelled into the Top 10 could bode well for 21 Jump Street’s marketing team; as compared to a Blu-Ray or DVD rip, TS copies generally have substandard video and sound quality, which can make them tough to watch, especially if there are big VFX or a loud audience. Yes, it’s a camera that’s setup in a theater. If it’s high quality, it’s an empty theater with the sound pulled from the Audio Assistance jack (for the hearing impaired.) If it’s poor quality, it’s filmed from the back of a crowded theater using the camera’s microphone; people are shuffling around, munching popcorn and laughing (sometimes with, but often at the movie).

Nonetheless, this will breed more positive word-of-mouth that in turn can drive even more viewers to either go see it in the theaters or purchase the Blu-Ray/DVD/VOD, when they come available.  If they’re not going to pay for it, at least they can vouch for it.

The data for the weekly download chart is collected by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are BD/DVDrips unless stated otherwise.

Week ending October 26, 2012

Ranking(last week)MovieIMDb Rating / Trailer
1(1)Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (DVDscr)7.7trailer
2(3)We Bought a Zoo7.3trailer
3(2)The Grey7.2trailer
4(…)Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance5.0trailer
5(…)The Vow (R5)6.5trailer
6(…)21 Jump Street (TS)7.7trailer
7(4)The Sitter5.5trailer
8(7)The Adventures of Tintin7.6trailer
9(6)The Three Musketeers6.0trailer
10(10)The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo8.1trailer



  1. I still find it fascinating how random these lists are. the fact that an okay family drama like “We bought a zoo” is number 2 and was previously number three suggests that

    1. the number of film downloads are incredibly small. Small sample size anything is possible-which is unlikely


    2. that The studio has done a pisspoor job protecting it-which is unlikely as there isn’t great way of doing it.


    3. I don’t know. How does this happen? How does a 6 month old family movie become an illegal downloading hit so much latter?

  2. I agree that the numbers are probably relatively small, but the likelihood is that the Zoo numbers, at least, are affected by the fact that it’s being released in the UK this month.

    I’d love to see a breakdown of the numbers here, not only total number of downloads, but also the countries they are coming from.

    But I’m also really interested in your attitude, Jeff, that bad quality piracy may actually be able to help sales of a film; is this the kind of thing that only works for a limited number of releases with poor pre-press (“Actually, I saw 21 Jump Street the other day and it’s not as bad as I was expecting”), or do you think bad pirates can serve sales on all types of flicks?

    • I think pirate forums provide an interesting counter-offensive when distributors try to overhype a mediocre films, by marketing the public into submission (like “The Devil Inside”.)

  3. 1. Good to read you again, Jeff. It has been a while.

    2. This is interesting. Can piracy actually help a film by spreading the word?

    3. Is there a relationship between the popularity of pirated films and box office or do they have different audiences?

    • People are people and word-of-mouth is word-of-mouth. TS piracy neither a predictor nor lagging-indicator of box office success because it’s concurrent with the box office release. I believe it can help and hurt a film’s home-video release. “Hobo with a Shotgun” is the most recent example of piracy word-of-mouth lifting a film out of obscurity, into the mainstream.

  4. A funny thought just struck me that might become reality the odd time – a producer with an inadequate promo budget makes a few bad copies of his own film and slips them into the pirated film market for others to make additional copies. Of course, he sells the original copies for all he can get while posing as a pirate and these bad copies function as trailers in a sense to draw attention to his film.

  5. What’s the skinny on English muffins? I suspect they’re bogus.

    Anyway, maybe ticket prices have something to do with downloads. Who wants to spend upwards of 16 bucks for an “okay” movie? Family of four plus treats – gets crazy quick.

    Also Jeff, any thoughts on the SAG/AFTRA merger? Is it really better for actors? Or just for producers?


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