"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has already sold over $500 million dollars worth of tickets. But, still, torrent users went crazy when "The Hobbit" showed up online on January 1st, making it the first big movie of 2013 that leaked onto the internet.
Interestingly, there is a lot of information about how this copy came to exist, straight from the uploader apparently. According to him, the copy is a DVD screener, which is the same version that studios send to the Academy who vote for Oscar nominations. Academy voters get an advanced copy so that they can watch the movie and vote on it without leaving their house. But, it seems like "Scene4all" and "Thekillingjoke" found a copy that they were able to upload. According to Scene4all, the uploader, wrote about his difficulty with the security on the copy. "As you imagine it took some time, loads of security in it, days of work i can tell you, all for the security of the source." He continued, saying that there were multiple watermarks, identifying codes, and random images that popped up throughout the movie. He managed to get rid of all of the securities and create a clean, almost-perfect, version of the film.
However, Scene4all did admit that there was a lot of issues he could potentially face by uploading "The Hobbit." "Its a big risk going out with this movie, hope you appreciate my work," he wrote.
Unlike "Lincoln," which had been in theaters for only 2 months, "The Hobbit" was released in mid-December, so viewers had the opportunity to watch the film in theaters legally for only a few weeks. Undoubtably, "The Hobbit" will be one of the biggest hits in 2012 and 2013, but, if leaked copies weren't floating around, we think that a lot more people would have bought tickets. For what it's worth, Scene4all did write that if you download his copy, you should also watch it in theaters and support "the producer" (and the rest of the cast as well), and suggested watching it in 3D with a higher framerate.
Most torrents sites, including Kickass Torrents, have a copy of "The Hobbit," and its available to download right now. Make sure you get the "DVDSCR" or "Screener" version though for the best quality.
UPDATE: "Django Unchained," directed by Quentin Tarantino and starring Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Christopher Waltz, has leaked as well. For details, click here.