December 2015 Hollywood Film Screeners Leaked Online. Another end of the year awards season, another round of high-profile unreleased films leaked onto the Internet before and after their premieres. This year claimed an unsettling amount of victims. Before their theatrical release, digital screeners copies of the following films, meant for film critics eyes only, have been leaked online: Concussion, The Hateful Eight, The Revenant, and Joy.
Leaked screeners for films already in theater include: Steve Jobs, Legends, In The Heart of the Sea, Creed, Straight Outta Compton, Brooklyn, Room, The Peanuts Movie, Carol, Bajirao Mastani, and Dilwale.
The anti-piracy sentiment in Hollywood has been strong and vibrant. This current batch of leaks is sure to spark a response, especially from Quentin Tarantino, the director of The Hateful Eight, an auteur who is never sigh about voicing his opinion. With his film being released in limited theaters on December 25, 2015 and wide on January 1, 2016, the director must be upset about the release of his baby online instead of the format he preferred it to be released in and one whose profits he could share. Tarantino has given no official comment as of yet but one can’t imagine him remaining silent on the issue indefinitely.
The two groups claiming responsibilities for the most recent leaks are “Hive-CM8” and “ShAaNiG.”
One group promises more leaks in the coming weeks, totaling forty.
“DVDScreener 1 of 40,” Hive-CM8 announced. “Will do them all one after each other, started with the hottest title of this year, the rest will follow.”
When The Expendables 3 was leaked before its release date, the leak hurt that film’s box office performance. I can not imagine the above leaks not doing the same for their respective films, especially for the films that have not even been released in theater yet. Many people will think: Why go out to the theater when the movie that I was going to go out to watch is available on my computer and HD TV. This is unfair to the people that have worked hard to create these films but it is reality.
The pirates of this copyrighted material picked the most opportune time to make these releases: Christmas week and the weekend following it, when the very people that would be tasked with investigating these leaks will be gearing up to go home for the holidays and will not be available over the upcoming weekend.
I can not imagine that Hollywood will want a repeat of this scenario next year and will take steps to insecure that it does not. After HBO had its Game of Thrones leak, they stopped sending out screeners all together and step up a digital screening room for critics. I imagine that most movie distributors will want to do something similar after these month’s leaks. Whether they have the capability to do so is another matter. There are two other points to consider as well: there may be more working film critics in America than there are working TV critics. Each film critics will need their own online screening room credentials. Some of these critics, in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, find the Internet foreign and my not go online often. Now having to go online to do their job will be off-putting to that segment, to that generation of film critic.
It has to happen though. It is the only way to put an immediate and significant dent in this type of piracy. It is long past due.