The Blu-ray version of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" hit torrent websites three months after the movie's release.
The Hollywood epic space opera film was released in cinemas on Dec. 18, 2015. The movie will be officially available for download on April 1 followed by the release of the official DVD and Blu-ray on April 5 this year.
Several camcorder versions of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" were uploaded on torrent sites soon after the film hit cinemas. However, the torrents have disappointed viewers.
A pirate group going by the name of REPLiCA has managed to get hold of the official "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Blu-Ray about a couple of weeks ahead of its official release. The group has also uploaded the HD version of the film on torrent sites.
Considering the hype surrounding the movie and the huge fan following of the "Star Wars" franchise, it does not come as a surprise that thousands of people would want to watch the film from the comfort of their homes. Torrent Freak reports that the first copy of the torrent became available on Tuesday and within 12 hours of being online, it had been downloaded more than 250,000 times. This number is highly likely to increase to a few million in the next few days.
The number of downloads reported for a movie like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" should not come as a surprise. However, given the popularity of the movie, it may become the most torrented movie this year.
"Interstellar," a science fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan, was released in October 2014. The film was downloaded 46 million times in 2015, indicating the popularity of downloading movies from torrent sites.
Reports suggest that content uploaders are required to supply torrent websites with a photo of the physical disc as proof that they have a legit copy of the film. REPLiCA has posted an image of the movie's Blu-ray disc, which appears to be a regular retail copy.
It is worth noting that millions of people download movies from torrent sites. However, downloaders should be aware that the Blu-ray download file could be huge and may have malware, which can affect a computer system. Many people may want to buy a legal copy of the film, which is considered to be a better option.
It remains to be seen if the leaked copy of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" affects the retail sales to a significant degree. The movie's official Blu-ray copy will include additional material such as behind-the-scenes action and other features absent in the pirated version.
Photo: David Holt | Flickr