Avatar has been an enormous success. The film has broken nearly all records at the box-office, and together with The Hurt Locker it was last night’s big winner raking in nine Academy Award nominations.
James Cameron and the rest of the Avatar crew probably cracked open a few bottles of Champagne to celebrate, but today they will wake up with a serious hangover.
Only a few days after the nominations were announced, a DVD screener of Avatar (2D) appeared online. Before today, only a lower quality Telesync copy of the film has been available on BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks.
Ironically, the DVD screener that is now widely available online most likely leaked through one of the Academy Awards voters.
There is no doubt that Avatar will also score big in the list of most downloaded movies this year. The Telesync copy of the film that has been available for over a month was already downloaded by more than two million people.
It is expected that the DVD leak will easily double or even triple these figures. Avatar has been among the most searched for keywords on nearly every torrent site for more than a month already.
Twentieth Century Fox has been extra careful with sending out the DVD-screener of Avatar, as more Academy members received it mid January, just a few days before they had to vote. Although this did delay the leak, it couldn’t be prevented.
How and if the DVD-screener will affect the box-office revenues is up for debate. The film has already grossed more than $2 billion worldwide, which is an absolute record despite the relatively high piracy rate. In fact, high piracy numbers are often an indicator of success at the box-office and vice versa.