“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” takes place in a galaxy far far away, but high-quality pirated copies have hit piracy sites near you, two weeks before its planned DVD release.
The files, which first appeared Tuesday, have been downloaded by 250,000 people within the first 12 hours, according to estimates by blog TorrentFreak, which reported the news earlier.
The blockbuster is set for disc release on April 5, following its digital HD download availability on April 1.
Copies of the movie, shot with video recorders in theaters screening the film, have been present on piracy sites like The Pirate Bay for months since the film’s December release. But their popularity was limited by the poor quality of the files and by Disney’s aggression sending takedown requests.
“The Force Awakens” is the top-grossing film in U.S. history with more than $900 million at the domestic box office, beating the $760 million that former record-holder “Avatar.” Its more than $2 billion in global box office still falls behind Jim Cameron’s sci-fi epic and his “Titanic.”
But peripherals revenue is key to the franchise. “The Force Awakens” on its own could generate more than $5 billion in additional revenue, according to analyst estimates, with part of the haul coming from in-home viewing sales.