World records have been broken by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It became the first Hollywood film that grossed $1 billion in just 12 days. Star Wars was able to beat the previous record of Jurassic Park that was allowed to be shown in China, the world’s second biggest market. Star Wars will open in China this January and it will likely push sales to astronomical levels.
On the other hand, there is a record that the movie industry is not proud of. According to TorrentFreak, 12 DVD quality movie previews called screeners were released by movie pirates. The screeners can be downloaded through the internet and they are the source of many movies like the latest James Bond Spectre and the new Tarantino movie the Hateful Eight.
The group of individuals behind the releases call themselves by the name of Hive-CM8 with 40 screeners in total for release. Screener DVD’s are typically sent to a range of movie producers, critics and movie award voters but there are strict conditions that the films should never be leaked. The films include a security mechanism so that there is a connection between the particular movie and the specific person that sent the screener.
The FBI is investigating why the copy of The Hateful Eight was linked to Andrew Kosove, the co-CEO of film production/finance company Acon Entertainment and why it ended up in the hands of movie pirates. Hive-CM8 is known as a loose group of individual movie pirates that makes money from the early releases of movies to their subscribers.
For the movie industry, there is no simple solution to the problem of sending screeners to reviewers and potential award voters because the previous attempts to stop the preview DVD’s were met with strong opposition. Movie piracy is becoming a big problem among movie producers that Walt Disney decided not to send preview copies of Star Wars to anyone.
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