Top pirated movies versus iTunes, DStv BoxOffice

After the stir caused by last week’s (in)famous leak of The Expendables 3 DVD screener onto BitTorrents indices, this week’s chart of the most pirated movies on BitTorrent is downright uneventful by comparison.

Torrentfreak publishes a weekly chart of the most popular films among BitTorrent file-sharers, based on its own estimates, as an informational and educational reference.

This week saw the entry of three new movies, among them Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

It, along with Divergent (last week’s number 2) climbed the charts to knock The Expendables 3 leak from where it entered the chart at number 1 last week, to third place.

The other new films on the rankings are Batman: Assault on Arkham, and a telesync of 22 Jump Street.

Together with the new Captain America film, they knocked Transformers: Age of Extinction, Transcendence, and Hercules Reborn off of TorrentFreak’s Top 10.

A table comparing TorrentFreak’s charts to those of iTunes in the US and South Africa, as well as the most popular movies on DStv’s BoxOffice service is shown below:

Rank BitTorrent iTunes US iTunes ZA BoxOffice (PVR & Online)
1 Divergent The Other Woman Jack Ryan: Shadown Recruit The Art of the Steal
2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Noah The LEGO Movie Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
3 The Expendables 3 (DVDscr) Heaven is for Real Rio 2 iNumber Number
4 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (TS) Snowpiercer The Grand Budapest Hotel Yogi Bear
5 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Divergent Madly Madagascar American Hustle
6 The Other Woman Rio 2 Winter’s Tale The Armstrong Lie
7 22 Jump Street (TS) Transcendence Frozen About Last Night
8 Need for Speed The LEGO Movie Ride Along Outback
9 Batman: Assault on Arkham The Grand Budapest Hotel The Monuments Men One Chance
10 Noah Bad Words Catch & Release The Legend of Hercules
* DStv BoxOffice “Most Popular” list not given in any particular order; ranking is arbitrary.

Legal options

It is interesting to note that of the 10 movies on TorrentFreak’s list, 5 are listed in the top 100 movies on the US iTunes store.

They are: Divergent, The Other Woman, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Batman: Assault on Arkham, and Noah.

None of the films ranked in TorrentFreak’s top 10 were listed in the top 100 movies on the South African iTunes store, and none of them were available on DStv BoxOffice.

That said, while there is nothing illegal about using BitTorrent to download content, it is illegal (perhaps even criminal) to torrent copyrighted media without permission to do so.

Examples of content that is legally distributed through BitTorrent includes media from, Linux distributions, and games purchased from the Humble Store or Blizzard Entertainment.

There haven’t been significant changes to South Africa’s online movie rental or purchase landscape since 2012, but before that there wasn’t much of a selection at all.

MultiChoice launched its DStv BoxOffice movie rental service in 2011, which it brought to the web during 2012.

Apple launched a South African version of its iTunes Movies service at the end of 2012.

Anyone can open a DStv BoxOffice account online and rent movies to download or stream through MultiChoice’s desktop or online players.

DStv Premium and Extra subscribers can rent movies from BoxOffice using an HD-capable PVR decoder, and also get discounts on online rentals.

Like BoxOffice, iTunes lets users rent movies to stream or download via its client software. However, unlike BoxOffice, iTunes also lets users buy digital copies of movies.

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Top pirated movies versus iTunes, DStv BoxOffice