Illustration of a pirate on a laptop screen depicting digital piracy

In the fast-paced world of digital entertainment, the battle against content piracy continues to be a pressing issue. In 2023, the streaming landscape was rife with illegal activities, with users turning to unauthorized platforms to access the latest movies and TV shows. At StreamSafely we’re committed to promoting legal and secure streaming experiences, so we dove into the statistics, which unveiled the most pirated movies and TV shows of the year.

The Most Pirated Movies of 2023

EarthWeb, an independent technology research outlet, identified the most pirated movies of 2023 by looking into how many torrents were readily available via Google Search for each title from Jan. 1, 2023 to Dec. 7, 2023.

Here are the most illegally streamed movies of 2023, some of which may surprise you.

1. Barbie: 4,190,000 Pages of Torrent Content

As by far the most torrented film of 2023, Barbie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, made $1.4 billion at the box office. It also spent three full weeks as the most-downloaded movie according to TorrentFreak, and didn’t drop off the top 10 list until 11 weeks later.

Where to Legally Stream: Barbie is available legally on Max.

2. Five Nights at Freddy’s: 131,000 Pages of Torrent Content

The record-breaking supernatural horror film starring Josh Hutcherson made back over 14 times its budget — despite ranking No. 2 for available torrents.

Where to Legally Stream: Five Nights at Freddy’s is available legally on Peacock.

3. Priscilla: 73,600 Pages of Torrent Content

Based on the autobiography “Elvis and Me” by Priscilla Presely herself, Priscilla stars Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny. It follows Priscilla Beaulieu in her transformation into Priscilla Presely during the rise and fall of her husband and his career.

Where to Legally Stream: Priscilla is available to purchase or rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.

4. The Creator: 71,900 Pages of Torrent Content

Starring John David Washington, Gemma Chan, and Madeleine Yuna Voyles, The Creator is a sci-fi blockbuster that made over $100 million at the box office. The movie centers on Joshua and his efforts to find the most dangerous weapon in the world: a small and seemingly vulnerable little girl.

Where to Legally Stream: The Creator is available legally on Hulu.

5. The Killer: 56,600 Pages of Torrent Content

Ranking No. 5 in Google pages of torrents, the popularity of this adaptation of the French graphic novel, starring Michael Fassbender, easily surpasses the expectations brought on by its relatively low box office.

Where to Legally Stream: The Killer is available legally on Netflix.

6. Reptile: 50,000 Pages of Torrent Content

Although one of the most expensive movies of the year, Benicio Del Toro and Justin Timberlake give standout performances in this chilling mystery, launching Reptile to earn back more than double its budget.

Where to Legally Stream: Reptile is available legally on Netflix.

7. Tiger 3: 37,400 Pages of Torrent Content

Maneesh Sharma’s Tiger 3 is an Indian Hindi-language spy thriller and the fifth installment of the YRF Spy Universe and its RAW Agents.

Where to Legally Stream: Tiger 3 is available legally on Amazon Prime Video.

8. Jawan: 36,400 Pages of Torrent Content

Shah Rukh Khan gives an incredible dual performance in Jawan that ignited fans and made the movie India’s highest-grossing film of the year.

Where to Legally Stream: The extended cut of Jawan is available legally on Netflix.

9. Sound of Freedom: 32,500 Pages of Torrent Content

Based on a true story, Jim Caviezel stars as Tim Ballard, a federal agent driven to the depths of the Colombian jungle to break apart a ruthless ring of smugglers and save the children they traffic.

Where to Legally Stream: Sound of Freedom is available legally on Amazon Prime Video.

10. Wonka: 27,600 Pages of Torrent Content

Based on the world of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Timothée Chalamet dons the top hat of the renowned and mysterious chocolatier, Willy Wonka, in the character’s origin story. The film welcomed the new year as No. 1 at the box office.

Where to Legally Stream: Wonka will likely be available to stream on Max later in Spring 2024.

The Most Pirated TV Shows of 2023

During EarthWeb’s research, it also identified the most pirated TV shows of 2023. Based on the same timeframe of Jan. 1, 2023 to Dec. 7, 2023, these are the most illegally streamed shows based on the number of readily available torrent pages:

1. One Piece: 444,000 Pages of Torrent Content

The live-action version of One Piece sits atop EarthWeb’s ranking of most-pirated TV shows of 2023. Based on the manga of the same name by Eiichiro Oda, the story follows the young pirate Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew as they sail in pursuit of fame and legendary treasure known as the One Piece.

Where to Legally Stream: One Piece is available legally on Netflix.

2. The Last of Us: 86,000 Pages of Torrent Content

Pedro Pascal took the world by storm at the beginning of 2023 in HBO’s zombie adventure series The Last of Us. The series set viewership records, and HBO has officially announced a second season for 2025.

Where to Legally Stream: The Last of Us is available legally on Max.

3. Payback: 85,700 Pages of Torrent Content

With The Guardian spouting praise that Payback “oozes quality” and “doesn’t have a single weak link in the cast,” it’s clear why this crime drama triggered such demand across illegal streaming sites.

Where to Legally Stream: Payback is available legally on Amazon Prime Video.

4. Archie: 72,000 Pages of Torrent Content

The critically acclaimed four-part miniseries follows the story of Archibald Leach from his humble, impoverished beginnings in Bristol in the early 1900s to his transformation in becoming Hollywood’s leading man, Cary Grant.

Where to Legally Stream: Archie is available legally on Amazon Prime Video.

5. Pluto: 67,200 Pages of Torrent Content

This eight-episode animated series currently boasts a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s no wonder why viewers are seeking various ways to watch it. However, the best option is always to go to a legal source. The series follows Inspector Gesicht through the mysterious events surrounding a string of murders at the hands of robots.

Where to Legally Stream: Archie is available legally on Netflix.

6. Silo: 49,900 Pages of Torrent Content

Based on the novels by Hugh Howey, director Graham Yost brings the post-apocalyptic world of Silo to life with Rebecca Ferguson starring as Juliette.

Where to Legally Stream: Silo is available legally on Apple TV.

7. The Curse: 36,500 Pages of Torrent Content

The Curse is a dark comedy series that follows newlyweds played by Emma Stone and Nathan Fielder as they try to cultivate their dream life in a new town in New Mexico. The series originally aired on SHOWTIME.

Where to Legally Stream: The Curse is available legally on Paramount+ and Hulu.

8. Goosebumps: 34,100 Pages of Torrent Content

The chilling children’s works of R. L. Stine are brought to life in Rob Letterman and Nicholas Stoller’s Goosebumps. After a group of high schoolers unleash malevolent forces, they must work together to save themselves and their town.

Where to Legally Stream: Goosebumps is available legally on Disney+.

9. Ahsoka: 23,200 Pages of Torrent Content

From creator Dave Filoni and starring Rosario Dawson as the title character, Ahsoka carries on the storyline from the animated Star Wars Rebels series and follows the adventures of long-time fan favorite Ahsoka Tano.

Where to Legally Stream: Ahsoka is available legally on Disney+.

10. Poker Face: 20,800 Pages of Torrent Content

Stylized as a murder-of-the-week series, Poker Face follows the cross-country cases of Charlie Cale, played by Natasha Lyonne, as she sorts through endless webs of mysteries and lies.

Where to Legally Stream: Poker Face is available legally on Peacock.

Calculating the Economic Impact

The continuation of illegal streaming through recent years has had a significant economic impact on the entertainment industry and may continue to be detrimental. Research conducted in 2019 by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations, stated that global piracy accounts for a $29.2 billion loss each year for the U.S. economy.

However, that figure is expected to explode. A study by Parks Associates projects a loss of $113 billion for U.S. streaming providers by 2027. The firm also estimates that these levels of privacy could affect the consumer to the tune of $700 million in fraudulent ads in 2024 alone.

With billions of dollars lost due to piracy, content creators and distributors face challenges in monetizing their intellectual property. The exact economic impact is challenging to quantify, but the widespread nature of illegal streaming undoubtedly poses a threat to the industry’s financial stability.

To enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows legally and securely, always make sure to use reputable streaming services. Explore our comprehensive Where to Watch guide for a list of legal platforms that offer vast libraries of content. By choosing legal streaming sources, you not only support content creators but also ensure a safe and high-quality viewing experience.

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