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.

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Comments on “Hateful Eight Pirated From The Inside, Widely Available, And It Won't Stop Its Success At The Box Office”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Funny how your limited grasp of reality keeps you from comprehending what was actually said vs what you want it to say so you can bad mouth the site.

The film is going to make fuckloads of money, even with it being out in the wild. Much money will be spent on behalf of the copyright holders to chase imaginary dollars they think they might have gotten from people who in the absence of the copies still wouldn’t have gone and seen it.

Piracy is illegal, TD has never said otherwise but they often point out how overwrought the reporting and fears of the cartels vs reality. The reality is piracy can be shown to be caused by the clinging to a business model that refuses to address the changes in the world. That we spend so much time and money trying to prop up a business model and we don’t do that for other businesses. We expect business to adapt to changing time and not be given handouts if their model fails… look at those poor ice salesmen who were run out of business by the evil refrigerator makers who stole their idea of keeping things cold in the home.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Also relevant is that Disney absolutely screwed over the 70mm showings of The Hateful Eight.

Tarantino was advised by the cinema which he had negotiated a contract with for the 70mm screen that Star wars would be shown there, because the cinema chain couldn’t afford to lose all future Disney productions.

So yes, it’ll make a fuckton of money, but it’ll also be buried under Star Wars because Disney decided to fuck over Tarantino.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yay, piracy is A-OK! I read it on Techdirt, home to the pirate-apologists!

Quick, but serious, question: Do you honestly think that stating a factual prediction (i.e., “the movie will perform well”) is actually some sort of normative statement regarding whether or not infringement is morally okay or not?

It does seem slightly odd that you are so focused on shoving your personal dislike of this site into what is clearly not in this post.

Would you prefer that Tim lie and pretend like this would have a serious impact on the film?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes! Asking people to work on days they agreed to work is THE CRIME! Piracy is A-OK. Those employers are the real criminals! Absolutely. And this film will make money, so piracy is A-OK. Don’t forget. Evil corporations. They DESERVE it. Giving people jobs and creating movies that people want to see. Stupid idiots!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I work in film, and I think maybe you’re mistakenly seeing a distorted picture of the environment, or assuming that your local environment is is reflected in the environment we work in.

Different companies of course vary, but I can say with confidence that not everyone working at the company I work for is Christian (our team pulls from pretty much every nationality and creed), and not every Christian there feels the need to take the time off.

The company asks who, if any, are available to work through the period on the occasions where they feel the schedule could benefit from a bit of extra man-hours at the time.

This also isn’t out of line with many other industries. Check your local hospital, police station, or fire service for a number of Christians and non-Christians also working through Christmas.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They put my name in the credits, think I’m okay there 🙂

Emergency services, hospitals – it seemed like an easy group of organisations made up of often disparate groups that most people need/want over a holiday period. There wasn’t a criticality comparison.

Pleased you got the over all point though. Cheers.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What if you don’t have a family or don’t really want to visit with them? It should be a choice of whether you want to come into the office on traditional “gathering” days. Not everyone has the lovable Griswolds to come home to. Some have nothing and some of us wish we’d never been born at all.

I think it should be a free day whereby if you go home, you get holiday pay, but if you come in you make the same. That way, nobody gets shortchanged and nobody gets accused of being a Scrooge to their humble Cratchits who want to be at home spending quality time with Tim and the gang.

As one of those people who’d rather be crucified myself than spend another horrible evening with the drunken political roundtable, I obviously have a personal bias here. But all the more reason I’d welcome it — that is, if I was one of the people lucky enough to even have a job to go to on Sol Invictus or any other day of the year.

(Can you tell from the above paragraph I’m also one of those “War on Christmas” folks mentioned by the forked Christian tongues on Fox News, who doesn’t believe in the mythology behind it either?)

DannyB (profile) says:

Hollywood Accounting

Pay close attention to how Hateful Eight does at the box office, because it’s almost certain to be a smash hit

Please have sympathy for the poor filmmakers, actors, and behind the scenes people. No matter how many tickets are sold, the film won’t make any money. The reason why is left as an exercise for the reader.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hollywood Accounting - ooh I'm good at maths...

So lets assume the box office grosses 100 million.

Less 50 million for promotions and marketing (think producers kids/cousins/nephews pasting flyers up in various areas)
Less 20 million for “Fighting Piracy” (all the stringent security measures taken to make sure nobody “in the industry” leaks the file… well that was a waste, but next time we’ll pay the directors brother and he will write the security text file… kind of like a robots text file – “Do not Pirate this file” thing).
Less 20 million for the studio licensing (to get a big name attached to the film, rather than “Joe Blows indy film company”)
Less 10 million for the Quentin Tarantino.
Less 1000 for distribution (passing digital files is EXPENSIVE).
Less 20 million for copy protection features (watermarking, DRM, etc).

I’m sure I’ve missed something and already the film has lost 20,001,000 dollars. How will they every survive the losses inflicted by those horrible pirates?

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Re: Hollywood Accounting - ooh I'm good at maths...

For starters, the film is made by the Weinstein Company, which is not a member of the MPAA. It’s an independent film, not a Hollywood film. They probably aren’t wasting any money fighting piracy.

And the film is being distributed (limited) on 70mm film, which is very expensive to produce and ship, so probably ten times as much or more will be spent there.

And Tarantino is probably making more than $10 million, but his name alone on a film will earn ten times that.

And do you seriously think the movie’s being promoted by having relatives put up fliers?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hollywood Accounting

You’re right. I work at this grocery store where people just walk in and take stuff without paying. We have the same amount of employees as a normal grocery store. We get paid the same amount, and get the same health benefits.
Just kidding, of course we don’t. What are you, some kind of idiot internet pirate?

Grey (profile) says:

I go to 2 or 3 movies in the theater a year, and I’m catching Hateful Eight on the 27th in 70mm here. (Hollywood Theater in Portland!) It’s enticing enough to get a grump like me out of my home theater.

Once in a while it’s worth the experience, (Last one for me was Snowpiercer) the real butter popcorn and good beer don’t hurt either.

Still doesn’t change the fact that used projectors are now dirt cheap, and can be purchased for the cost of a few family movie nights.

res (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Once the people who owned the 70mm projectors found out that Tarantino was releasing 100 70mm prints and none of the theaters had projectors anymore – everything is digital to keep distribution costs down- the price to buy a 70mm projector skyrocketed. Never mind that it took 5 used projectors to get parts to make 3 functioning projectors.
The 70mm print barely fits on the platter.
Personally I really do not like seeing scratches on film prints. I really like digitally projected films and unless I can see a “wet gate” print I am not interested in seeing film projection.

John85851 (profile) says:

What about camcordings?

Is it safe to assume the screener copy is Blu-Ray quality and surround sound?
If so, and if this copy is estimated to be downloaded between 200,000 and 600,000 times, why the **** is the MPAA going after terrible quality cam-corded versions?

Oh, right, because pulling a guy out of a theater and confiscating his Google glasses “sends a message” better than arresting the head of a production-finance company for letting his copy get “borrowed” by his office staff.
After all, the MPAA wouldn’t want to upset someone who might give them money for their movies.

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Close, but...

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.

Actually, close but no cigar…
Some Of the people (maybe even most) paying little or nothing for the film isn’t the kind of person to line up to pay $20 to see it.

But equally, some are the sort of people that’ll still line up and pay to see it, even after having downloaded it. Some more are the sort of people that’ll line up and pay to see it after having downloaded it if it’s not a total pile of shite.

Were I “Hollywood”, I’d be less concerned about people downloading films and more concerned about people like me; Those who are increasingly of the opinion that most of the wank coming out of the major studios recently isn’t worth wasting 3 hours of their life to see, free or not!

Anonymous Coward says:

You have to ask “Why?” These movies aren’t being “stolen” by pirates, or nerds, or grandmothers, or children, or release groups. They’re being let out into the wild by insiders.

And yet, instead of tightening up their own fucking security and prevent future leaks, they’d rather spend money they claim is being devastated by “pirates” on ineffective laws and privacy invasions. It’s like eating a pile of shit on the ground and blaming the policeman patrolling the street two blocks away because you got food poisoning. But of course the usual trolls will lap it up.

Anonymous Coward says:


“The theater is an experience, one that still can’t be replicated through piracy.”

I’m sure with a decent DVD editing tool I could create a disk with 30 minutes of unskippable ads before the film started, silhouetted heads blocking a lot of my view, incessant inane loud chat, rustling of confectionery wrappers, loud popcorn munching etc.
In short all the inconvenience of a (UK at least) cinema experience except the eye watering price.
I tend to only go to cinema for films that really benefit from the big screen, anything else that is OK on domestic TV size screen I watch on disk when it finally dribbles out on release & enjoy it without distractions

Anonymous Coward says:

Actually, if anything is going to hurt Tarantino even the slightest bit at the box office, it’s his idiotic comments from this past summer with reference to American cops. He compared police to the Klan and stood in solidarity with a domestic terrorist organization that as of just this week had stormed into a shopping mall — not just any shopping mall, but the country’s largest, the Mall of America — on the busiest shopping day of the year. This before flooding their mob out into an airport to, and I quote, “disrupt their flow of capital so they’ll be FORCED to listen to us.”


Gee, that’s what those 19 Saudi skyjackers in 2001 were doing too, right? Just a peaceful protest to “disrupt the flow of capital” and raise awareness of the plight of the poor Palestinians who “dindu nuffin” yet keep getting “profiled” by the IDF. Um, OK. Do these idiots in Bowel Movements Matter not get that you simply do NOT start a riot at an AIRPORT on ANY day of the year, let alone CHRISTMAS EVE???

Let the record show, your honor, that these are the people Mr. Tarantino regards as civil-rights heroes worthy of a Nobel participation trophy.

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