Hackers have stolen a digital copy of Disney’s new high-seas blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The theft was confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger while speaking to a group of employees on Monday and made public shortly thereafter. That’s bad, but it’s perfectly acceptable to appreciate the amazing irony of a group of online pirates pirating Pirates!
The hacker group are reportedly holding the movie for ransom. Iger says that the hackers are demanding a massive amount of Bitcoin, and if they don’t receive payment they’re threatening to release the movie online. The hackers say they’ll release the first five minutes of the movie initially, and follow up with 20-minute installments until their demands are met.
Jack Sparrow does not approve of hackers stealing his movie, but he does appreciate irony.
There’s no word on how seriously Disney is taking the hacker threat. But they have little hope of prosecuting the hackers or performing any countermeasure that might alleviate the situation. So, should they pay it, or tell the hackers to walk the plank? While it’s safe to say that a number of people will go to the trouble to download the various illegally uploaded installments of Pirates 5, if released, it’s highly unlikely that any sort of pirated release would hurt the film’s overall box-office performance.
Pirates want to plunder Disney’s coffers, but Disney should tell them to walk the plank.
A movie like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is going to do massive business, and blockbuster audiences are not going to be satisfied watching a leaked copy at home. They’ll want to see the epic action on the big screen with a theater full of other fans. And the vast majority of those who flock to mainstream box office hits like the movies in the Pirates franchise have very little interest in downloading pirated movies at all.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales opens on May 26. In the meantime, Disney should tell those lily-livered scurvy dogs to walk the plank.