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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey tops 2013's most pirated list

Peter Jackson's epic fantasy prequel beat out Quentin Tarantino's award-winning slavery drama for most pirated movie of 2013, TorrentFreak reported this week.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey logged an estimated 8.4 million downloads on BitTorrent networks last year, followed by Django Unchainedwith 8.1 million, the blog revealed.

Those illegal downloads didn't hurt The Hobbit at the box office, where it earned $1,017,003,568 (£618,430,808.93). But Warner Bros. would probably have preferred to sell an additional 8.4 million tickets.

Django, meanwhile, earned $425,368,238 (£258,647,596.31) at the box office, not to mention an Oscar for Tarantino and Christoph Waltz.

Much of the top 10 list included action-packed blockbuster films. Fast and Furious 6 was at number 3 with 7.9 million downloads, followed by Iron Man 3 at 7.6 million. Star Trek Into Darkness, Gangster Squad, The Hangover Part 3, and World War Z were also on the list, as were Oscar favorite Silver Linings Playbook and bank heist caper Now You See Me.

All those films did pretty well in theaters, though TorrentFreak noted that its list was missing other big hits like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Man of Steel.

Last year, the most pirated movie was Project X, which focused on an out-of-control party, and made just over $100 million (£60.8 million) at the box office. But bigger budget flicks - The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers - landed at numbers 2 and 3.

The figures will be sure to spur Google on in its fight against piracy, having already revealed that it deletes eight illegal links every second.