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Summer Movie Piracy Rises: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ Tops 2015 Downloads

Digital pirates have been more active in swiping illegal copies of top Hollywood releases this summer compared with last year, according to new data.

For the period between June 21-Sept. 9, 2015, the five most-pirated films — led by Warner Bros.’ “Mad Max: Fury Road” — were downloaded on torrent networks worldwide 85.34 million times, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. That’s a 29% increase over 66 million during the same time period last year, when “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” was the No. 1 target of Internet thieves.

One reason for the piracy uptick may simply be that Hollywood released more popular movies this summer. In the U.S., box office revenue was the second-best on record, after 2014 hit a seven-year low, with ticket sales of $4.48 billion between May 1 to Labor Day weekend, according to Rentrak.

Indeed, the top five movies pirated globally piracy also performed well in theaters — and they’re clustered around sci-fi and fantasy themes, which appeal to the young-male profile of peer-to-peer downloaders.

Mad Max: Fury Road,” which has generated $374 million at the box office worldwide, had 22.90 million shares on torrent networks over the summer. That was followed by Universal’s “Jurassic World” (18.16 million); Disney/Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (15.87 million); Lionsgate’s “Insurgent” (14.46 million); and Paramount’s “Terminator: Genesis” (13.94 million), which sagged at the U.S. box office but has done well overseas.

In the U.S., the five most-pirated movies for the summer of 2015 were: “Max Max: Fury Road” (1.75 million downloads); “Jurassic World” (1.21 million); “Insurgent” (1.16 million); “Ted 2” (1.10 million); and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (1.09 million).

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