In an unprecedented security breach one month ahead of its theatrical release date, a nearly complete version of [movie id="345540"]“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”[/movie] has leaked online.
The so-called work-print copy is said to be a high-quality, full-length version of the film without time codes or a studio watermark, though some special effects are not yet complete.
As expected, reviews and readers’ comments about the movie have proliferated across the Internet in the few hours since the bootleg copy began circulating. (MTV News will not link to any sites offering the film for download or viewing, and we will not discuss any pirated content.)
Early Wednesday morning (April 1), 20th Century Fox sent an e-mail about the leak to various sites, saying, “This is bad for the industry and ruins the experience for so many people who are excited to see the film.”
Partial or even full leaks of movies have become an unavoidable reality for movie studios in recent years. In 2003, a work print of Universal’s “The Hulk” leaked on the Internet two weeks before its theatrical release date. The movie went on to be a financial disappointment.
It is too early to say if this latest leak will have a serious impact on “Wolverine,” which stars [movieperson id="234610"]Hugh Jackman[/movieperson], at the box office. Word-of-mouth on the production has been mixed for months. What is clear is that the rollout of a huge summer blockbuster — which is usually an exercise in building anticipation, from teaser trailers and set photos to online viral marketing — has been utterly disrupted.
Over three theatrical releases, the “X-Men” franchise has already grossed over $600 million at the box office, and Fox was no doubt hoping this series reboot would prove to be just as lucrative. Another sequel, “X-Men Origins: Magneto,” has been planned but is not expected to move forward until the success of “Wolverine” becomes clear.
Check out everything we’ve got on “X-Men Origins: Wolverine.”
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