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Project X tops the list of 2012’s most-pirated movies

The party flick beat out heavyweights like The Dark Knight Rises and Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, according to stats compiled by TorrentFreak.


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Dec 28, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 4:36 am CDT

While Batman and Ethan Hunt helped make The Dark Knight Rises and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol two of the biggest box office hits this year, it was a couple of rowdy teenagers in Project X that made it the most pirated film of 2012.

The movie, which features three high school nobodies throwing a massive house party that spirals out of control, was downloaded 8.72 million times, TorrentFreak reported. That was followed by Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol with 8.5 million downloads.

“Whether these unauthorized downloads are a serious threat to box office revenues is unclear. Earlier this year researchers found no evidence that BitTorrent piracy hurts U.S. box office returns,” TorrentFreak added. “There is a link between downloads and revenues internationally, which the researchers attributed to long release windows.However, looking at box office revenues is only half of the picture as DVD sales, rentals and on-demand movies are perhaps more likely to be impacted.”

Despite only grossing $100 million in the box office, Project X captured the country’s attention when it was released in March largely because of the depiction of underage drinking. The film also inspired thousands of teenagers around the U.S. to emulate the raucous party depicted in the film.

In July, 21 people received summons after a party in Staten Island “complete with drinking, marijuana and out-of-control teenagers” was broken up by police, the Staten Island Advance reported.

“As neighborhood parents started appearing and news of the police arrival was imminent, kids were seen jumping off the roof, jumping out windows and scrabbling down vertical gutter pipes to get away,” the newspaper added.

An estimated 30,000 partiers were expected to descend on the Dutch town of Haren in September for a recreation of Project X, but the massive party never actually emerged, with just a few hundred showing up.

Those parties pale in comparison to that of Corey Delaney, of Australia, whose 2008 blowout featured 500 teenagers. The Melbourne shindig ended up creating $20,000 worth of damages and partly inspiring Project X, The Atlantic reported. The following is an interview with a shirtless Delaney. It has collected 2.6 million views.

The fact that the film was partly inspired by an Australian partier and the island is popular with content pirates is what helped make Project X top this year’s list, Buzzfeed reported. About 7 percent of illegal Project X downloads have been from Australia, TorrentFreak’s Ernesto told Buzzfeed.

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*First Published: Dec 28, 2012, 6:06 pm CST