According to Hollywood Reporter, News Corp's Fox this week said that the pirated version of the new X-Men flick has seen 4 million downloads, four times what it thought originally.
"Piracy is a serious issue for us. We now estimate that there are above 4 million downloads of that stolen 'Wolverine' movie that was up there," Said News Corp. COO Peter Chernin.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine hit the net on March 30. The leaked version was termed a “workprint” copy, which meant it was unfinished. Some special effects were missing, and fans were warned that it may not even be the final cut of the film. That said, many rushed to download the incomplete version of the eagerly anticipated film. Naturally, Fox wasn't pleased about the leak.
The debate as to whether or not the company lost a significant amount of money from the Wolverine downloads is a messy one. Some argue that the movie has only been downloaded by those who had no interest in paying to see it anyway or X-Men fans who downloaded the movie and will likely pay up to see the completed version in the theaters anyway. The flip side of that is fans who may have wanted to see the movie originally but were disappointed with the download, won’t bother seeing it in the theaters. Then there's the argument that the your average theater-goer doesn’t know how to download movies from the web anyway.
Now that the movie is out in theaters, what say ye? Did anyone watch the pirated version and then refuse to see it in theaters? Similarly, is there anyone who watched both and thinks the theater version is big improvement on the unfinished cut?
All downloads aside, Wolverine saw an $85 million opening weekend.