"The Expendables 3" starring Sylvester Stallone has leaked to internet piracy websites weeks ahead of its August 15 theatrical release date.
"The leak of the film on the Internet ahead of its theatrical debut, an unusually rare occurrence, could dampen box office [revenues] for 'Expendables 3," Variety commented
when the movie leaked last week. "It’s also worth noting that the target demo for the movie is young males, who are the biggest users of illegal file-sharing services."
The leaked file first appeared on Wednesday, and was soon shared on The Pirate Bay, likely the largest BitTorrent piracy website on the internet. The file is said to be DVD-quality, and it was downloaded nearly 200,000 times in its first 24 hours on the site. By Sunday night, the number of illegal downloads numbered 1.13 million.
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The first two Expendibles movies grossed $275 million and $300 million in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
The movie's distributor, Lionsgate, declined to comment on the leak, but Entertainment Weekly noted
that the leak could be as big as that of 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" which appeared online two months before its official release date.
The FBI arrested a Bronx resident named Gilberto Sanchez in connection with the leak. He was sentenced to a year in prison.
In addition to Stallone, the high-octane ensemble picture stars Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Kelsey Grammar, Terry Crews, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford.
It's unclear how the DVD-quality file was obtained, but many have suggested it could have been ripped from a DVD "screener" that was sent out to industry insiders ahead of the release, but it is unclear if such a screener was ever sent out in the first place.
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