Hateful Eight Pirated From The Inside, Widely Available, And It Won't Stop Its Success At The Box Office
from the crying-over-nothing dept
If you’re a Quentin Tarantino fan, just a movie fan, or someone who in some way sees advertisements, you likely already know that Tarantino’s latest film is due for release on Christmas. What you may not know is that it’s already widely available through illegitimate sources and that it appears that came to be because someone inside of a film industry company got their hands on a screener copy and uploaded it to the internet.
Andrew Kosove, co-CEO of production-finance company Alcon Entertainment, was sent the “screener” copy of Hateful Eight for year-end awards consideration. That copy was signed for by an office assistant and later shared online, where it is now circulating on multiple file-sharing sites. Sources say officials with the FBI, working in conjunction with distributor The Weinstein Co., have been able to pinpoint Kosove’s copy of the film as the source of the leak from a watermark on the DVD sent to him. FBI agents are visiting Alcon’s Century City headquarters Tuesday to determine the chain of custody of the DVD and who is responsible for its uploading. Alcon is cooperating fully in the investigation.
It’s worth noting that Kosove himself has stated that he never had actual possession of the screener copy, which is almost certainly true. The most likely route for the film ending up on pirate sites is some employee somewhere within Alcon swiped it and then uploaded it. Still, with so much public emphasis from antipiracy campaigns being placed on outsider n’er do wells, it’s worth dinging the industry for not being able to police its own house, even as it asks service providers to police theirs.
Regardless, the damage is done, what damage there is.
Regardless, between 200,000 and 600,000 downloads of the film, depending on various reports, occurred the first day it was available online. Physical copies of Hateful Eight have been seen for sale on street corners in China and other markets.
Pay close attention to how Hateful Eight does at the box office, because it’s almost certain to be a smash hit, even as it competes with a certain film franchise from a long time ago and far, far away. And that really is the point. Even as media reports will breathlessly detail the pirating of the film, even as we’ll be told about street corners in China where copies of the film are offered, and even as the download numbers of the film will soar, the film will do well. Why?
Because those aren’t the target customers of the film anyway. The kind of person paying little or nothing for the film is not the kind of person who would otherwise be lined up at the theater to hand over $20 for a ticket to the film. The film industry has yet to learn this lesson, instead putting in place windowed releases and other practices that do nothing but spur on the piracy the further. Ultimately, though, the success of a film at the box office and whether or not it is pirated have always been divorced from another. The theater is an experience, one that still can’t be replicated through piracy.