Hollywood has been blaming leakers of big movies on the internet for a variety of problems. For example, pages from the next Harry Potter book were leaked online days before publication. The Revenant and Season 4 of “Lost” were uncovered months before airing. Similarly, Hollywood has been criticized for letting internet spoilers affect movie endings. In fact, it’s been reported that the ending of Terminator Salvation was changed by a leaker on a movie website.
Sony Pictures’ servers were hacked by a group called the Guardians of Peace in November 2014. The leaked files revealed salary and budget figures for several Hollywood movies. They also contained screeners for five movies, four of which were not yet released. These movies have already been downloaded more than 2 million times, and one of them, Brad Pitt’s World War II movie, was one of the first to be leaked. The movie went on to gross over $171 million worldwide and cost the studio $68 million to produce.
While both Annie and Fury made decent box office numbers, their success was derailed when they were leaked. While both movies managed to gross a decent sum, the studios felt that the movie would have done better if the leak had not happened. The studios acted to prevent any further damage to their brand, and the studios have been resolving the problem by enforcing stricter laws.