All year round unauthorized copies of movies appear online following a recording in a cinema or after being ‘ripped’ from a DVD or Blu-ray disc. However, when the ‘Oscar season’ begins in November, greater treasures are on the horizon.
Every year so-called ‘screener’ copies of the most critically acclaimed films are ‘securely’ sent out for review but with few exceptions these movies leak to the Internet. This grants pirates the ability to watch big titles in a quality rarely experienced for such early releases.
This year is no exception, with movies such as Straight Outta Compton, Brooklyn, Room, The Peanuts Movie and Carol all leaking during recent days. However, this past weekend delivered the most controversial leaks so far.
While Sylvester Stallone is likely to be angry that his movie ‘Creed’ is now doing the rounds on torrent sites (TorrentFreak estimates at least 100,000 downloads thus far), that will pale into insignificance compared with the wrath likely to be consuming the Tarantino household right now.
After being scheduled for a December 25 cinema debut, Quentin’s latest work ‘The Hateful Eight’ is now being guzzled up by excited Internet users around the globe. Before Sunday had even drawn to a close the movie had been downloaded more than 100,000 times but at the time of writing those numbers have swelled to more like 220,000.
While not in the quality Tarantino envisioned for his Ultra Panavision 70mm masterpiece, the copy is extremely clean and free from timestamps and ‘property of’ watermarks. Whether it has other secret markings will remain to be seen but there’s certainly nothing that spoils the viewing experience.
But when it comes to mass appeal the leak of Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’ is likely to take some beating.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and also slated for a Christmas day release, by Sunday this tale of vengeance had clocked up in excess of 180,000 downloads. Today those totals have reached an ‘impressive’ 300,000.
Again, the quality is extremely good for such an early release and there are no obtrusive markers to spoil the experience. Although as ever some purists are likely to prefer an even better copy, this is perfectly good enough to be shown on most TVs and likely to be the best to appear before an official DVD release.
Considering the noise made last year when The Expendables 3 leaked before its official release, the leaking of AAA titles like those detailed above are likely to stir up anti-piracy sentiment in Hollywood like never before. That being said, it appears that we’re only just getting started.
Hive-CM8, one of the groups behind the leaks, says it has obtained copies of dozens of screeners and is preparing to leak them out one by one during the days to come.
“DVDScreener 1 of 40,” the group announced. “Will do them all one after each other, started with the hottest title of this year, the rest will follow.”
Yesterday that batch continued with the leak of the Tom Hardy Krays movie ‘Legend’ and continued with ‘In the Heart of the Sea’. Only time will tell which movies will appear next but this is a huge provocation from CM8 and may yet illicit a law enforcement response.
Update: Steve Jobs and Joy leaked as well.