“Home Alone” Enjoys Seasonal Piracy Spike as Christmas Draws Near

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After 33 years, "Home Alone" remains one of the most watched movies around Christmas. The film is also the absolute favorite Christmas classic on pirate sites. Newly collected data show that the seasonal interest begins at the end of November and typically reaches its peak at the end of the year.

People who pirate movies may be more likely to show psychopath traits; they are not immune to seasonal traditions.

As the days get shorter, downloads of specific pirated movies start to increase. This includes Christmas classics such as Home Alone, The Grinch, and Elf.

In 2022 we revealed that Home Alone is by far the most pirated Christmas classic and a year later, that hasn’t changed. As a follow-up, we now take a closer look at the seasonal download, reaching an unexpected conclusion.

Hark! The Downloads Spike

After sifting through weeks of torrent download data with help from Iknow, we can conclude that interest in Home Alone starts to pick up in mid-November. By early December, the average downloads per day in our sample had already doubled.

The chart below shows a gradual increase with temporary download peaks during the weekend, when people typically pirate more content overall. The seasonal uptrend doesn’t apply to classic movies without a Christmas theme, however.

Home Alone downloads increase (2023)

home alone

The recent sample includes data up to December 20, before the real peak in downloads takes place. To get a more complete picture we also look at last year’s stats around Christmas.

Last Christmas

In 2022, a similar seasonal spike could be observed, with an initial peak on Christmas Day, as expected. But that wasn’t the end of it; after the 25th downloads picked up again, reaching a new high on the last day of the year.

Home Alone downloads last year

home alone christmas download torrents

These types of trends are relatively stable. Home Alone downloads through torrent sites also peaked on the 31st of December in 2021 and 2020, and they are expected to do the same this year. Pirates are also creatures of habit it seems.

That also means that Home Alone is unlikely to be replaced as the ultimate Christmas pirate classic. The Grinch is this year’s runner-up but, with less than half of the downloads, it doesn’t come close.

New film releases tend to draw more downloads than classics, with “Silent Night” being in the lead in that department. However, that doesn’t last and 2022’s favorite “Spirited” already loses out to Home Alone by a wide margin this year.

All data reported here are estimated based on a large sample of millions of global daily BitTorrent connections. These numbers are not exact nor do they include other forms of piracy, such as pirate streaming sites and direct downloads.


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