Thousands of People Are Illegally Downloading Thor: Ragnarok Thanks to an Early Leak by Vudu

Image: Marvel
Image: Marvel

Thor: Ragnarok wasn’t scheduled to be available for digital download until February 19, with physical discs in stores for purchase a few days later. But after a high-definition copy of the film was briefly made available over the weekend on the streaming service Vudu, thousands of people are now downloading it illegally.

A now-deleted Reddit post describes how at some point during the weekend, pre-orders to download Ragnarok through Vudu were mistakenly fulfilled early, giving people access to the movie when they shouldn’t have had it. At least one person’s Vudu account was synced to their MoviesAnywhere account—a service that allows you to play digital content from services like iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon on devices like Chromecasts or Apple TVs. Within hours of the premature deliveries, Thor: Ragnarok became one of the most torrented movies on the Pirate Bay, something that one imagines Disney can’t be too jazzed about:

Illustration for article titled Thousands of People Are Illegally Downloading iThor: Ragnarok/i Thanks to an Early Leak by Vudu

As the TorrentFreak news site points out, the leak’s popularity likely has to do with the quality of the upload. Unlike a lot of other pirated films that are prerecorded using phones directly in theaters, the pirated Ragnarok is pulled directly from a digital upload that had its copyright protection broken. There’s no telling just what kind of impact the leak will have on Ragnarok’s sales going forward, though it’s worth pointing out that the leaked version won’t come along with all of the bonus content included with the DVD and legit digital copy.

We’ve reached to Disney Home Video for comment, and will update if and when we hear back.


io9 Culture Critic and Staff Writer. Cyclops was right.

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Serious question: How does one accurately measure the impact of torrenting on sales? There are a good number of people who would never buy it no matter how cheap/easy it is to access, so they can’t really be counted in the “lost sales” number. Also, there are people that don’t want to wait for the release date who watch it early, and end up buying a copy when it’s available, so there is no “lost sale” to count.

Also, I recall Netflix indicating that they (at least used to) monitor torrenting patterns to see what properties to invest in based on popularity. Is there any data suggesting that torrenting has reduced the number of people who watch those programs on Netflix?

Also also, what about region-locked content? Is it possible these are people in other regions who don’t have access to buy these movies, and would contribute to sales if allowed to?

I’m serious. I’ve always wondered about this.