With a not great box office return, the big story coming from the third Expendables movie was the piracy case that followed it. Now it seems like they have found the two men responsible for putting a high-quality leak of the final movie on the internet a few weeks before its release.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on Tuesday that two men have been arrested in the north of England on suspicion of leaking copies of The Expendables 3 online before its release. The two men were taken in by U.K. anti-piracy police and are suspected of stealing a high-quality copy of the film from a cloud-based system before uploading it on the Internet.
According to THR, the film began circulating online on July 25, ahead of its official U.S. release on Aug. 15. It was downloaded more than 10 million times, something the film's studio Lionsgate has said had a huge financial impact on the film.
The Expendables 3 took in $16.2 million at the U.S. box office during its opening weekend, well below that of the previous two franchise installments.
Producer Avi Lerner talked about the effects of piracy on the film industry to THR during the film's release.
"Everyone wants to hide what happened on Expendables 3," he said, "especially the domestic distributors. 'Don't talk about it!' But I'll tell you there is about $250 million in box office we lost."
The Expendables should rebound though as both Lerner and Stallone have hinted at plans to keep the franchise going with a fourth installment.