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.
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.