Will Smith’s December drama Seven Pounds has struck out with both critics and moviegoers in the U.S. since its December 19 release. Its freshness score on Rotten Tomatoes is only 27 per cent and the $55-million film has limped along at the box-office, grossing just $70 million in the U.S.
But there is one place the film has been popular since it first hit theatres in late December: BitTorrent. According to Torrent Freak’s weekly chart of the most popular movies on BitTorrent, Seven Pounds has been in the top 10 every week since December 22*. In fact, it’s the only movie on each week’s list that, at the time the list was compiled, was neither out of theatres and not yet on DVD nor a box-office hit. So, why has this seemingly unpopular movie become such a hit among illegal downloaders, no doubt to the chagrin of its studio Sony Pictures?
One possible answer lies overseas, literally. Seven Pounds has done startlingly well abroad since it was released in Europe and many other territories starting January 9. In fact, last week, the film was #1 at the foreign box office with a total of $20.6 million from showings in 25 countries. To date, the movie has made roughly $42 million overseas. It’s likely that this international popularity has been fueling Seven Pounds‘s BitTorrent success with people outside of the U.S. downloading the film even before it was released in their area. But that still leaves us with one major question: Why do international audiences like this movie?
*Seven Pounds is absent from last week’s top 10, which was just released today, likely pushed out by many newcomers. But prior to this, it was consistently on the list.
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