Usually when a big explosive movie like 'The Expendables 3' gets press, it's usually just fun over the top trailers and interviews, but this time, the third film in the franchise is getting plenty of coverage over internet piracy. An illegal copy of the film was uploaded and quickly spread around the internet getting well over a million downloads just a few weeks ago.
With 'The Expendables 3' opening on August 15, that was a huge headache for Lionsgate as the leak happened weeks ahead of the international release, something that every studio fears. Lionsgate was quick to file a 'John Doe' lawsuit along with reaching out to the FBI to help get ahead of what could be a disaster for them.
Lionsgate went even further threatening subpoenas against ISPs hosting along with cloud storage along with banks and any financial institutions granting service to the torrent sites. In court, the film studio explained to the presiding judge that it wasn't just a loss of potential revenue at the box office they feared, but how this could affect their relationships with theaters.
The judge responded with this: "Lions Gate has established that it will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of immediate relief," responded U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow in an order issued late Monday. "Among other things, Defendants’ likely infringement has stripped Lions Gate of the critical right of first publication, is interfering with Lions Gate’s contractual relationships with third parties, is damaging Lions Gate’s goodwill among consumers, and is depriving Lions Gate of revenue that will be difficult or impossible to calculate, but is likely far in excess of any amount that Defendants could repay to Lions Gate in damages even if the amount could be calculated."
Now, a restraining order has been issued against the sites said to have ignored Lionsgates demand letters to remove 'The Expendables 3' film. They are also asking the court permission to go after Google, GoDaddy and other domain name server companies to get any information they have on who is running the sites that 'The Expendables 3' have been found on.
So, we truly have a test case to see if online piracy will affect a film's box office or not. 'The Expendables 3' isn't reviewing well (only receiving a 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) so if it bombs, it won't be entirely sure if it was piracy or just a bad movie that caused bad box office.
In the meantime, check out the really colorful and fun new character posters that have come out for the film.