However, the big bad word—piracy—will rear its ugly head as well. These movies are likely to be prime targets that people want to watch, and that means they'll also be the films people will download illegally.
Last year we went through and gave our predictions for what films could top the list of the most downloaded movies of the year. Now it's time to do that again. This time around, we're going to toss out 25 titles that could make it onto this list. At the end of the year, we will add the actual numbers to this list to see how our predictions turned out.
The group for 2013 consisted of several blockbusters of the comic book genre and a smattering of others as well. Comedies can hit big (The Hangover Part 3), and generic action films can get quite a few downloads (Fast and Furious 6). Oscar buzz can also play a part (Silver Linings Playbook), but then again, you can just have a movie that comes out of the blue—one that people didn't want to pay to see but were interested in checking out nonetheless (Gangster Squad and Now You See Me). Keeping that in mind, here are my predictions for 2014's most downloaded films (in alphabetical order). The titles in bold are the ones I think will be in the top 10.
- 22 Jump Street
- A Million Ways to Die in the West
- Brick Mansions
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- How to Train Your Dragon 2
- Jupiter Ascending
- Sex Tape
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- The Expendables 3
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug / The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
- The Other Woman
- Thor: The Dark World
- Transformers: Age of Extinction
- X-Men: Days of Future Past
What I'm not too sure about, however, is the differentiation between The Other Woman and Sex Tape. The former is doing well at the box office and, with Kate Upton being promoted in it, stands a chance at replacing the latter. However, the subject matter for Sex Tape is tough to ignore. People look for pornography all the time, and if the film does not get panned for being a poor comedy, it will have an easy sell with that title. Sadly, a lot of people will stumble across that just hoping to see some nudity in it. Watch out for all of the 13-year-old boys who will download it and then be disappointed, like what happened with Coyote Ugly back when that was released.
If I were to try to pinpoint one film that will beat out every other on this list, I could see that honor going to either The Hunger Games or Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Some honorable movie mentions that almost made my list were The Lego Movie, 300: Rise of an Empire, Need for Speed, Divergent, Lucy, Edge of Tomorrow, Dumb and Dumber To, and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. These are all films that could end up taking one of the spots above in a top 25, particularly if they end up taking spots away from films like Jupiter Ascending and Hercules, but I don't have as much faith in them having a shot at the top 10.
RESULTS (Source: Excipio, hat tip to Variety.com)
1. The Wolf of Wall Street: 30.035 million (Paramount, Dec. 25, 2013)
2. Frozen: 29.919 million (Disney, Nov. 27, 2013)
3. RoboCop: 29.879 million (MGM, Feb. 12, 2014; and Orion, July 17, 1987)
4. Gravity: 29.357 million (Warner Bros., Oct. 4, 2013)
5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 27.627 million (Warner Bros., Dec. 13, 2013)
6. Thor: The Dark World: 25.749 million (Disney/Marvel, Nov. 8, 2013)
7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: 25.628 million (Disney/Marvel, April 4, 2014)
8. The Legend of Hercules: 25.137 million (Summit, Jan. 10, 2014)
9. X-Men: Days of Future Past: 24.380 million (20th Century Fox, May 23, 2014)
10. 12 Years a Slave: 23.653 million (Fox Searchlight, Oct. 18, 2013)
11. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: 23.543 million (Lionsgate, Nov. 22, 2013)
12. American Hustle: 23.143 million (Sony/Columbia, Dec. 13, 2013)
13. 300: Rise of an Empire: 23.096 million (Warner Bros., March 7, 2014)
14. Transformers: Age of Extinction: 21.65 million (Paramount, June 27, 2014)
15. Godzilla: 20.956 million (Warner Bros., May 16, 2014)
16. Noah: 20.334 million (Paramount, March 28, 2014)
17. Divergent: 20.312 million (Lionsgate, March 21, 2014)
18. Edge of Tomorrow: 20.299 million (Warner Bros., June 6, 2014)
19. Captain Phillips: 19.817 million (Sony/Columbia, Oct. 11, 2013)
20. Lone Survivor: 19.130 million (Universal, Dec. 25, 2013)
This list shows once more that the comic book genre has a huge stranglehold on any list that is film related, yet despite being so heavily pirated, these are the movies that are making the most money overall anyway. The most curious of the bunch in my mind for the top ten is The Legend of Hercules, as I just couldn't imagine that many people wanting to view that film—although I certainly understand why they did not wish to pay to do such. The lack of some of the other titles, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Guardians of the Galaxy is even more perplexing. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2015.