'Casino Royale' stung by web pirates
LONDON — “Casino Royale” did boffo biz in its opening frame last weekend but Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and co. will be setting aside the champagne as it emerged that the Bond pic has already been illegally downloaded from the web 200,000 times, according to U.K.-based internet monitoring company Envisional.
“Casino Royale” did $42.2 million at 3,063 in 27 markets in its opening frame last weekend. The best performance came from its gangbusters $25 million four-day bow in Blighty. But by the weekend two pirated versions were available for free access on public file sharing networks, according to Envisional.
The first pirated copy — a poorly-shot camcorder version apparently originated from Russia — was on the web late on Fri-day, just a day after the Nov. 16 debut. By Saturday morning, a higher quality copy, possibly from Italy, went online. Envisional also reported that pirate DVDs were on sale on the streets in London and Scotland.
David Price, head of piracy intelligence at Envisional, said: “In the face of this international conspiracy, Bond is really up against it.”
The piracy problem could dent the “Casino Royale” bow in other major European territories. The Daniel Craig-starrer opens Wednesday in France, Thursday in Germany and Nov. 24 in Spain.
Envisional was established in Cambridge, England, in 1999, and is used by Hollywood studios, brand owners and banks to monitor internet piracy.