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“Avatar” breaks another record, becoming the most-pirated film of 2010

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Not surprisingly, illegal downloading buccaneers made box-office-shattering behemoth Avatar this year's most pirated film, at 16,580,000 downloads by TorrentFreak's count. It's a significant increase from last year's most desired digital booty, Star Trek, which was pilfered almost 11 million times. Kick-Ass, the film based on the profane kiddie comic of the same name, was ripped off a potential-profit-depleting 11.4 million times and counting in 2010. Taking the bronze was the lucrative mindbender, Inception.

One surprise member of the top ten most-pirated list, Paul Greengrass' Green Zone, starring Matt Damon, came in seventh with over 7.7 million illegal downloads. This is surprising because the film was generally neither well-received by fans nor critics. It's less surprising when you consider that neither Alice in Wonderland, nor Toy Story 3, nor The Twilight Saga: Eclipse cracked the top ten, meaning that the downloading is mostly done by young men looking for a violence fix, not sappy sentiment.

Below is TorrentFreak's complete top-ten list, with attendant download figures:  

1. Avatar – 16,580,000
2. Kick-Ass – 11,400,000
3. Inception – 9,720,000
4. Shutter Island – 9,490,000
5. Iron Man 2 – 8,810,000
6. Clash of the Titans – 8,040,000
7. Green Zone – 7,730,000
8. Sherlock Holmes – 7,160,000
9. The Hurt Locker – 6,850,000
10. Salt – 6,700,000