‘The Expendables 3’ Pirated by Hackers Three Weeks Before its Release

The Expendables 3

The action movie The Expendables 3, which officially premieres on August 15, has been pirated by hackers three weeks before its release. The film somehow leaked online and it has been downloaded over 189,000 times in just 24 hours through piracy websites. The lead cast members of the film include Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone, Kelsey Grammer, Ronda Rousey, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Dolph Lundgren and Harrison Ford.

The accidental leak of the movie online before its debut in the theaters, although extremely rare, could seriously diminish the box office success for the movie. In addition, the target audience for the film is young males who are also the largest users of illicit file-sharing websites and services. On the flip side, although highly unlikely, internet users could encourage a triumph at the box office by encouraging others to go see the film in the theaters after viewing it themselves over the web.

Lionsgate, the company responsible for distribution for The Expendables 3, did not reply to a request for comment on the incident. The original source of the reproduced copy is unclear.

The stolen copies of The Expendables 3 began appearing on torrent-sharing websites Wednesday and downloads began to spike on Thursday, according to reports provided by the piracy-analytics firm Excipio. Data showed that as of 6 pm EST on Thursday, July 24, the film had already been downloaded 42,216 times in the United States and 189,052 times worldwide. It is likely that the download numbers will reach into the millions before Lionsgate can recover any of their reported budget of $90 million.

The first two installments of The Expendables series, which both starred Stallone, were released by Lionsgate in the middle of August in 2010 and 2012. The first film grossed $275 million worldwide and the second movie grossed over $300 million. The Expendables 3 was pirated by hackers just three weeks before its release, which is definitely a cause for concern for Lionsgate and the actors who contributed to making the film.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time one of The Expendables movies has been unlawfully copied online. In the year 2011, The Expendables production company Nu Image filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, targeting over 23,000 BitTorrent users that apparently downloaded copies of the first movie.

Other popular films have been subject to the same occurrence. In 2009, a rough edit of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 20th Century Fox, was shared online on Megaupload.com almost one month before the movie was supposed to premiere. Fox approximated that a minimum of 15 million people had downloaded the movie, which represented several million dollars in revenue lost to the company.

Gilberto Sanchez, a Bronx resident, was arrested in December of 2009 for uploading Wolverine illegally and was sentenced to one year in prison for his actions. Subsequently, law enforcement officials eventually shut down Megaupload.com in 2012 and are currently seeking monetary compensation.

The Expendables 3 was pirated by hackers three weeks before its release. Hopefully the media buzz about the leak will encourage moviegoers to see the film and it will be a huge success at the box office.

By Amy Nelson

Boston Harold
Under the Gun Review

17 Responses to "‘The Expendables 3’ Pirated by Hackers Three Weeks Before its Release"

  1. Timothy Pleines   July 29, 2014 at 10:39 am

    The movie wasn’t half bad. Mel Gibson’s acting performance was an unexpected surprise he played the role of the film’s antagonist-a criminally insane lunatic with deep seeded anger problems and an explosive temper. Now that I think about it, he probably was not acting. During the climax alone, stalone and his expendables kill 131 bad guys in a half hour. I counted because I had nothing better to do. Most of the film critics will give negative reviews, it is a generic action film that does nothing new. However, it was incredibley fun to watch. I am going to see it a second time in theaters in August.

  2. Kevin   July 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Why don’t they get they get their own house in order. This early on its a critic preview, inside job. maybe an intern or disgruntled employee or someone brought their work home and left it on the table where tech savvy kids can be like OMG…I’ll be so cool if I leak this *runs to burn a copy*

    I sure hope they would encode things throughout the movie like “for your consideration” in award voting screeners..or something like “for your review” in critic copies though I have never seen anything but the latter message. I sure hope they don’t just burn it in DVD readable format though it would be hard to do otherwise for influiential critics who must view it on their DVD player/TV(even though its not hard these days to hook up a laptop to a TV with surround sound). I have seen videos packaged executables that are time licensed and you need a serial number to play the internal video on the embedded player. Some of them are even tricksy about defeating screen recorders and cracking programs though not perfect(don;t ask how I know :)). But at least with some controls it would require a concerted effort and with each release you change up the security enough to prolong hackers(not pirates) from circumventing the protections…at least until the movie has goot a few eeks in the theater. You’ll never beat the CAM copies unless you can shine IR or something to blind certain types(or maybe I just saw that in a movie)

    That would certainly reduce the targets of opportunity and put a slight burden on others to have to text or email in for their activation code valid for movie time + 25 minutes. But that would require the industry to probably License someone elses technology or pirate it themselves. Hell how about encoding a unique serial number for each copy in the middle of the screen showing every 30 minutes for 1 minute..pirates would have to edit that out and people would get annoyed watching the movie with the discontinuities, do it during the nude scenes so they are forced to edit those out haha…lots of things they could do to track the people they allow to access this material.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it was Lions Gate or Nu image insider…maybe an edting room copy. The screenshots I saw advertised were not DVD quality..maybe it was encoded down and reencoded to try and clean out any watermarks…who knows.

    • Kevin   July 28, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      As this is not the first time its happened on a nuimage film I’m betting on Nuimage insider…

  3. fred   July 28, 2014 at 8:40 am

    “pirated by hackers”
    sorry, no. pirated by pirates. hackers break into computers, code, etc. pirates pirate movies. it’s that simple.

  4. Karel   July 28, 2014 at 2:02 am

    Well, I watched the downloaded version, I even found the Dutch subitles already on the internet. So, I moved it to my USB, plugged it in my television and what did I get. Excellent image, but…two hours or boring action pack. The formula seems out of date. The story-line is very one-dimensional and the actions far over the top. So….sorry I felt asleep.

  5. Amy Nelson   July 27, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    For those of you who mentioned that you do not have to be a computer “hacker” to obtain downloaded content through a file sharing website, you are correct. Thank you for pointing that out. My mistake. I’m only human.

  6. Isegrim   July 27, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I’m afraid of hackers and have to express my concerns.
    This article. wow


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