Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF:US) won a court order blocking websites from distributing an allegedly stolen copy of “The Expendables 3” viewed by more than 2 million people before the movie’s release in theaters.
U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow in Los Angeles granted the company’s request Aug. 8 for an injunction. A single digital file of the film, which stars Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford, was stolen and uploaded to the websites in late July, the Santa Monica, California-based company said in its complaint.
The movie is scheduled for release Aug. 15. The two predecessors in the “Expendables” franchise generated more than $575 million at the box office, the company said. Operators of six websites including limetorrents.com and billionuploads.com haven’t responded to demands to stop disseminating the file, Lions Gate said.
In addition to costing potential ticket sales to those who’ve watched the movie illegally, such uploads hurt the studio’s marketing of the film and its relationships with theater operators, Lions Gate said.
Spokesman Peter Wilkes said the company isn’t commenting beyond what it said in court filings.
Lions Gate, the studio that makes “Mad Men” and the “Hunger Games” movies, last week reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, helped by profit margins in its film and television businesses.
The case is Lions Gate Films Inc. v. Does, 14-cv-06033, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).
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