Someone has a DVD-quality copy of the upcoming Expendables 3, and that person has shared it almost 200,000 times in a matter of 24 hours.
While screeners of upcoming films is nothing new, they are generally done with a camera from within the theater – so distractions such as theater noise and crowd movement make the pirated film not as attractive as the true experience. However, pirated films created from the digital source with sound and footage completely intact make for a theater-like experience, considering the technology in many movie lovers’ homes today.
The leak is one of the earliest in recent memory, arriving a full three weeks before the theatrical release. Variety notes X-Men Origins: Wolverine was leaked a month early, but it was an unfinished cut. The pirate who shared the file spent a year in jail. They add Expendables production company Nu Image sued over 23,000 pirates for stealing the first movie in the series.
BoxOffice.com figures the third film will make around $25 million its opening weekend, but that number is in doubt if more fans get their hands on the action flick. Studio LionsGate may blame piracy for any amount they get over the weekend. A conservative estimate would be $2 million in ticket sales already lost, so those claims would be justified.