Here is one from the “Alternative Movie Delivery Service” files….. April 1, a great day for a prank, saw one of the most anticipated movie releases of this year being leaked to the internet. Granted it is a ‘pre-release’ version with apparently unfinished scenes and possible alternative cuts. The quality however is reportedly DVD like. So what does this mean for us? Well it is the movie industry’s own paranoia that has brought us such wonderful advancements as HDCP “High Definition Copy Protection” otherwise known as “Handshake Doesn’t Come Painlessly” and other Orwellian limits on how we use the medium. You can bet there are Copy Protectionists hoping the release will bomb in the theaters so they will have reason to blame the evil known as downloading.
Will this pre-pre-release really have any effect on the box-office ticket sales? In my opinion, doubtful. This is not the first time this has happened, remember Ang Lee’s Hulk? Even though it was leaked early it still managed to hit 61million dollars in the opening weekend. Sure it did not fare too well after that, can you really blame the pre-release? The fact that it still did fairly well on the opening weekend gives more weight to the notion that the movie-going demographic is not interested in watching pre-releases. And do not forget Revenge of the Sith – also leaked, and it made over $100 million the first weekend!
Frankly if 20th Century Fox were smart they would use this to their advantage. Use this leak to drum up interest and at the same time highlight the fact that this is not the final copy. If you think about it, this should only help the movie, as it is more publicity. Instead it will just serve to be more cannon fodder for the paranoid captains of this ship. Come to think of it, maybe they did do this on purpose, killing two birds…so-to-speak.