There has been another casualty in the leaked video world, and this time it was “Expendables 3’.” According to EW, the film had been downloaded over 200,000 times, and since the pirated copy was only available for a short period of time Sylvester Stallone and company should be a little flattered that that many people couldn’t wait for the flick. (read: sarcasm)
What’s different in the case of the “Expendables 3” leak is the high quality that was available, according to The Consumerist. Multiple sources are reporting that a screening copy that is given to media honchos ahead of the actual release of the film. That means this is no unfinished film or that is was recorded via iPhone in a theater.
Since the movie wasn’t scheduled to release for three weeks, this is a big deal for the distributors and anyone with a financial stake in the profits of the movie. Just using the trickle down math on copies being burned and sold, there are some serious eyeballs on the movie without having to purchase tickets.
The folks behind the film, Lionsgate, could try to press charges against anyone that downloads the copyrighted work to make for any financial losses. That would interesting, but I’m guessing that a film distributor is not going to risk the black-eyes associated with seeking legal action against fans of the franchise. That’s not the best way to keep people looking for your films.
Piracy is a very real threat, and millions of dollars are at stake for the content creators. Therefore, I expect that more rigorous controls will be in place for these screener copies and anyone in control of them. Will that fix the problem of people seeking out leaked movies? Not likely, but the other side of the coin is that “Expendables 3” got some serious media coverage on a weekend where anything coming out of Comic-Con was really getting some love. Could it have been a stunt? Hmm, now that’s interesting.