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The upcoming Lionsgate action film The Expendables 3 leaked online Thursday, three weeks ahead of the film's Aug. 15 release date.
Within 24 hours, the mostly out of their prime action star-filled sequel was downloaded more than 100,000 times, according to TorrentFreak. The DVD screener-quality download has since been snatched more than 200,000 times in the two days the film has been available online.
It isn't exactly known where the leak originated from, but the site notes that it can be partially traced back to an online group, which operates on several torrent sites, called Drarbg.
It's rare (with the exception being around award season) for a movie to leak ahead of its theatrical release, with the last major leak coming five years ago when a 'workprint' copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine was uploaded, Variety reports.
The leak came a month before the film's debut and while it lacked finished special effects, was still downloaded, according to 20th Century Fox, more than 15 million times.
The uploader, Gilberto Sanchez, was eventually arrested by the FBI later in 2009 and the initial site to feature the film, Megaupload, was shut down.
It should be mentioned for anyone who attempts to download the movie that producer Nu Image is known to be quite litigious when it comes to combating online downloading. More than 23,000 people were initially sued over The Expendables, though Nu later dismissed the suit, TF notes.
The Expendables 3 stars Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Harrison Ford and more.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com