Perhaps the most anticipated movie of the year, “Avengers: Endgame,” has leaked online ahead of its release in U.S. theatres. Hours after having premiered in China on Wednesday, a cammed copy appeared online and is being shared exclusively by China-based torrent users.
Many consider “Avengers: Endgame” to be tentatively the largest-grossing box-office film of all-time, especially considering the hype leading up to it. Not to mention, the prequel, “Avengers: Infinity War,” is the fourth-highest grossing film of all time with a worldwide gross of roughly $2.05 billion.
If online pirates are able to distribute this film worldwide, it could be incredibly detrimental to the box office gross.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) had made sure to keep the film shrouded in so much secrecy that even journalists and critics weren’t permitted to see the film ahead of its premiere. However, this type of piracy seems inevitable.
Pirating online content has been a growing problem in recent years, costing studios millions of dollars in lost ticket sales and media providers streaming revenue. In just 2016, the Motion Picture Association of America said that nearly $1 billion worth of pirated movies and TV shows were downloaded.
As previously reported, the decision for Marvel to release in China was to help combat rampant piracy in the region. However, with millions of citizens hitting cinemas around the country of 1.3 billion people, odds are a cammed version would leak.
The only good news for Marvel is that the version the Chinese are pirating online is of terrible quality.
According to CNBC, current forecasts have the total global opening ranging between $750 million and $950 million, with analysts predicting that the film will be the fastest to reach the $1 billion mark.