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AvatarSpeaking at MIPCOM recently in Cannes, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos suggested his company looks at what people are pirating in different parts of the world to help figure out what titles to license for for that region. An interesting barometer of cultural tastes for sure, and most likely a very reliable one as well.

So, we thought we'd take a look at a recently released list of the Top 10 most pirated movies of all time from BitTorrent as well as a similar list of the most rented movies of all time from Netflix to see if the two share any similarities or cross-overs.

Coming in at the top of the BitTorrent list with an estimated 21 million downloads is Avatar as the most pirated movie of all time. Not far behind though are The Dark Knight and Transformers with approximately 19 million downloads each. Taking a look at Netflix's "most rented" list we see Sandra Bullock's feel-good drama The Blind Side perched at the top, followed by 2004's Crash, and The Bucket List.

Rounding out the top five on the BitTorrent site are Inception and The Hangover at numbers four and five. Netflix's list sees The Curious Case of Benjamin Button at number four followed by The Hurt Locker.

The Blind SideThough the two top-ten lists do show a teeny bit of overlap, for the most part they reveal two very different types of viewers. As one might expect, the BitTorrent data is populated with titles that were heavily marketed to the 14-28 year-old male demographic (which also seems to mimic the typical user of torrent sites), while the Netflix list seems to reveal a more family-oriented group of titles. Both lists also seem to mirror box office popularity as several titles on the BitTorrent list - namely Avatar and The Dark Knight - rank very high on the all-time box office charts.

Following are the complete top 10 lists of the most pirated and most rented movie titles from BitTorrent and Netflix:

BitTorrent (source: torrentfreak.com)
1 Avatar (2009) - 21 million
2 The Dark Knight (2008) - 19 million
3 Transformers (2007) - 19 million
4 Inception (2010) - 18 million
5 The Hangover (2009) - 17 million
6 Star Trek (2008) - 16 million
7 Kick-Ass (2010) - 15 million
8 The Departed (2006) - 14 million
9 The Incredible Hulk (2008) - 14 million
10 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) - 14 million

Netflix (source: Netflix.com)
1 The Blind Side
2 Crash
3 The Bucket List
4 the Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5 The Hurt Locker
6 The Departed
7 Sherlock Holmes
8 Inception
9 Iron Man
10 No Country for Old Men

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