Remember when the computer systems for Sony Pictures got hacked? Well, it turns the situation has evolved into more than just a minor setback. Four of the studio’s movies that haven’t been released yet have suddenly found their way onto file sharing sites, and they are being downloaded by potential customers.
According to Variety, the films in question are Annie, Still Alice, Mr. Turner and To Write Love On Her Arms. Obviously, Annie had the highest ceiling and is therefore capable of doing the most damage. It is due to be released on December 19th, and while there are no hard and fast figures as to how much downloading affects movie ticket sales, it has already been consumed more than 200,000 times online. Even if only a small fraction of those consumers were planning on seeing the movie, that’s still enough that the ripples will probably be felt at the box office.
In addition to the four yet-to-be-released flicks, the Brad Pitt vehicle Fury also found its way on the web, and it has proven incredibly popular. In just the last week or so, it has been downloaded a robust 1.2 million times, and that figure continues to grow. Considering Fury was already released back in October and made more than $170 million, the cast and crew probably aren’t losing sleep over the leak, but even so, the studio is likely staring at the above number and wondering what-if.
Moving into the 21st Century, there are few things more important than online security. That might seem incredibly obvious for banks, credit card companies and others working in the financial sector, but protecting computers is also important for damn near every other business too. No doubt Sony Pictures is taking this breach very seriously and likely hiring even more computer consultants to try and prevent any further infiltrations.
It’s unclear why the download number is so low on Annie. There are really two possibilities. Either people aren’t nearly as interested in seeing Cameron Diaz and Jamie Foxx as the studio would like everyone to believe or the demographic of people who tend to download movies doesn’t overlap a whole lot with the demographic of people Annie is being targeted toward. More than likely, it’s a combination of both, but I suppose we won’t know for sure until the film is officially released later this month.
Until then, if you’re looking for cheap movies, Cyber Monday is the right day to find them.