The most cringe worthy accidental movie leaks in cinematic history
Sony Pictures dropped the ball last July – instead of uploading the trailer for its film Khali the Killer, it just went ahead and uploaded the whole darned film! That’s right, the full one hour and thirty minutes of it.
Perhaps even more shocking was that Sony took over six hours to fix the mistake and remove the upload, which as you’d imagine gave the internet more than enough time to clock up over 11,000 views. Yikes! Let’s take a look at some of the other times companies have dropped the ball and leaked their own films.
In 2017, Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac) accidentally streamed the first ten minutes of audio from the superhero film while watching a preview of it in the cinema and leaving his Instagram livestream on. Despite messages from fans, Ruffalo was a good cinemagoer and had his phone on silent until eventually noticing and stopping the stream. Whoopsie!
Ruffalo was a good sport about everything, and the streaming gaffe even became a recurring joke during the promotion for Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers: Endgame. It’s a good thing Ruffalo is so likable, because who knows if a less charming persona could have survived the ire of fans.
Eli Roth (Knock Knock) wasn’t too happy when the sequel to Hostel was leaked online and he took to MySpace (where?) to let his feelings be known on the evils of piracy. It’s no wonder, as the first movie made around $90 million and the sequel came out of US cinemas with a mere $15 million.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The unfinished movie was leaked on April 1, much to the dismay of the film’s producers. It was only a working print of the film (lots of the strings and ropes were still in it), but it still annoyed Fox to the point that it got the FBI involved and led to a man being arrested. It didn’t hurt it too much though, as X-Men Origins: Wolverine still earned $150 million on its opening weekend.
The leak did not prove to be a good omen for the movie, however. X-Men Origins: Wolverine was widely criticized by fans as the worst installment in the entire franchise. The backlash was so strong that the studio decided to reinvent their approach to Wolverine, leading to the beloved superhero classic Logan.
A month before its scheduled release and the third Expendables instalment was leaked online, with producers claiming that this is what led directly to a pretty awful opening weekend of $15 million. Although we’re pretty sure it was more to do with the fact it was also up against Guardians of the Galaxy and TMNT and it’s also just a pretty lousy film.
Along with Fury, Annie, Mr. Turner, Still Alice, and To Write Love on her Arms were all uploaded onto file sharing sites before their US release dates after a group who the FBI believed might be linked to North Korea hacked into the servers at Sony Pictures in some sort of retaliation at the company’s creation of The Interview.
The Hurt Locker
A disastrous plan to give the film an overseas release months before its US one meant Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-winning war drama was found pretty quickly on file sharing sites before you could see it on the big screen around the world.
It hit the company hard too after it reported a poor showing at the box office when it eventually came out, but the Oscar must have surely taken a bit of the sting out. The Hurt Locker still holds up a decade later as a masterpiece of tension and direction.