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Expendables 3 leak threatens Lionsgate's take

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 02:58

Lionsgate's Expendables 3 opening weekend could be dampened by a leaked copy downloaded as many as 5 million times. But analysts say moviegoers may still show up at theaters for the blockbuster extravaganza. Lily Jamali reports.

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With Friday's release of The Expendables 3, summer blockbuster season ends with a bang...but not the kind Hollywood likes. If you miss the '90s - this film is for you. NATSOUND: (EXPENDABLES 3) "Insane, courageous but insane." It features a laundry list of that decade's biggest stars. The problem is a leaked copy has been making the Internet rounds for three weeks. NATSOUND: (EXPENDABLES 3) "It can't be." Ah - but it can. Film editor Anita Busch has been following the case for Deadline Hollywood. SOUNDBITE: ANITA BUSCH, FILM EDITOR, DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Expendables 3 right now has been downloaded a total of about 5 million times worldwide and most of it has been done overseas." REPORTER ON CAMERA: REUTERS REPORTER LILY JAMALI (ENGLISH) SAYING: That's bad for the film's distributor, Lionsgate, especially since international revenue matters more than ever. Plus, this summer's box office receipts are down 32%. Busch says 2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" was the last pre-release leak of this scale. SOUNDBITE: ANITA BUSCH, FILM EDITOR, DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Wolverine - the thinking is it's probably impacted 12-15% of its worldwide box office." A recent study shows leaks before a movie's release can shrink receipts by closer to 19 percent. NATSOUND: (EXPENDABLES 3) "Welcome to the 21st century" For The Expendables 3, researchers from Frost & Sullivan expect the damage to range anywhere between $5 and 50 million, Mukul Krishna is the firm's senior global director for digital media: SOUNDBITE: MUKUL KRISHNA, SENIOR GLOBAL DIRECTOR FOR DIGITAL MEDIA, FROST & SULLIVAN (ENGLISH) SAYING: "That's a reasonable margin to live with considering it was around $90-100 million to make - and if you go by past movies, you're looking at at least - even with all of that happening - it making somewhere in the range of $180-230 million." He says being an action flick packed with all the bells and whistles Hollywood has to offer will help cushion the blow for The Expendables 3. SOUNDBITE: MUKUL KRISHNA, SENIOR GLOBAL DIRECTOR FOR DIGITAL MEDIA, FROST & SULLIVAN (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It's a summer release, it's a big screen experience and that's what viewers will be going in for - the experience you get in the theater as opposed to leaning in front of a laptop." It might not be all bad: An editor at The Verge admits he downloaded it - but says he'll still pay to see it. Still, at the movie premier this week, Director Patrick Hughes didn't hide his outrage: SOUNDBITE: PATRICK HUGHES, DIRECTOR, THE EXPENDIBLES 3 (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think piracy is disgusting. It's like any business. You've broken the cycle. No one in any business goes out and creates a product for it to then vanish without people paying for that product." NATSOUND: (EXPENDABLES 3) "What're you going to do?" Lionsgate got a California judge to order operators of several websites to stop sharing the stolen version, whose origins are still a mystery. Experts agree it had to be an inside job - from within Lionsgate or a post-production facility. And that however strict security once was - it's about to get even tighter.

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Expendables 3 leak threatens Lionsgate's take

Friday, August 15, 2014 - 02:58