It is no secret that every Hollywood production eventually ends up on BitTorrent, sometimes a few hours after it premieres in theaters and usually no longer than a few days. For this very reason movie leaks are hardly noticeable, but this changes when an unfinished copy of a movie appears online weeks before the official release date.
Last year this happened with X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Three long weeks before the official premiere in the movie theaters an unfinished copy (Workprint) appeared online, and in advance of its release over a million people had already downloaded it via BitTorrent.
20th Century Fox wasn’t happy with this global sneak preview and asked the FBI and MPAA to investigate the case. This investigation eventually led to the arrest of a scapegoat, but the original leaker was never caught. Now, a year on from the Wolverine drama, Fox is again up in arms about a leaked and potentially unfinished movie.
Little over a month ago a workprint copy of Vampires Suck was uploaded to various torrent sites by the P2P release group KiNGDOM. This time around Fox wisely kept quiet about the leak. Behind the scenes, however, Fox’s legal department has been sending numerous takedown requests to torrent sites and Google. Interestingly, some of the URLs that were sent to Google are links to fake copies of the movie.
Vampires Suck, a parody of the popular Twilight series, premieres in the United States and Canada tomorrow, but despite Fox’s efforts the movie has already been downloaded over 100,000 times. According to commenters, the quality of of the audio and video is more than decent and the film appears to be complete, although one can not be sure if the scenes in the workprint will all be in the actual film.
It is not unlikely that Fox will be trying to find the source of the leak once again, and the first leads are presented to them by KiNGDOM. “Got this from a friend blurred the needed areas for security reasons and cropped others. It came in 5 reels at the beginning of each there was a countdown till the reel started so I had to cut them out too, as for filtering I did the normal,” we read in the release notes.
Whether the leak will end up hurting the success of the movie in the long run or not is open for debate. It might, if those who have downloaded the film don’t end up seeing it in the movie theater or on DVD, where they originally planned to do so. On the other hand, the leak might lead to some additional press coverage and thus serve as a useful promotional tool.