20th Century Fox may have less to fear than they expected regarding the online leak of the “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” workprint.
Entertainment Weekly reports that early tracking figures show a high “wanna see” rating for the film which is said to be the No. 1 choice for young men and guys aged 31 and older. They also indicate the film is in for a bumper opening weekend no matter what.
The report also suggests that the leak might actually turn out to be a positive development for the film by generating heaps of free publicity, though that statement goes a bit far. Finally the article cites that the film has been downloaded at least 100,000 times since the initial leak, though doesn’t list the source of that figure.
Online torrenting tracker Torrent Freak on the other hand has the figure standing closer to a million downloads in the first few days. From that some blog and gossip sites have begun making grandiose estimates based on certain assumptions that are highly dubious at best.
Slashfilm for example suggests the leak could cost the studio around $15-20 million in potential lost revenue. That figure assumes that TF’s tracking stats are accurate, that at least two people watched every single download, that all those who downloaded it were going to go see it at the cinema in the first place, and those who have seen the pirated version have no desire to go see the final version at the cinema. Sorry but that’s utter bull.
Ultimately there is no way to track how much revenue the leak will cost or benefit the studio – no matter what amount the film opens at, the studio can claim that it would’ve been anywhere from 10-40% bigger had the leak not happened.