Two arrested in connection with Expendables 3 leak

The Expendables 3

The UK's anti-piracy police have arrested two men suspected of leaking The Expendables 3.

According to a BBC report, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (Pipcu) tracked both men to addresses in Wirral and West Yorkshire.

The Expendables 3 was set to be huge summer blockbuster when it was due for release on 15th August, but the leak which began circulating three weeks before on 25th July hit the production really hard.

It's believed that a cloud-based system where the final film was being stored was hacked into, the movie was then stolen and uploaded onto the web for users to download and view free of charge.

High quality copies of films finding their way onto the internet before general release is extremely rare, so as you can imagine this film was downloaded a lot.

There is not specific figure but reports suggests it was pirated hundreds of thousands of times and watched by around 2.2 million people.

It is difficult for film production companies to determine just how much movie leaks cost them in box office sales. The Expendables 3 only took $16.2 million from its debut, which is $10 million short of Lionsgate's initial target.

Their takings look even worse when compared to the $34.8 million and $28.6 million that the first and second movies took respectively.

While this leak does appear to have damaged sales substantially, it's not always the case. In 2009 a rough early version of X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit the web a month before release, but it didn't really have much affect and the movie was still a huge success.

Head of Pipcu, Det Ch Insp Danny Medlycott went onto tell the BBC that downloading illegal movies can harm your computer with malware and viruses, and can significantly harm the livelihoods of those in creative industries.