The movies were evidently ripped from awards-screener DVDs by Hive-CM8, a well-known piracy collective that purports to have altruistic motives.
“We are especially sharing this for the people who cant [sic] visit the cinema due to illness, or because it is a limited release that doesn’t make it to their country,” the group wrote in the release notes. Variety has not confirmed the authenticity of the pirated copies, which were first reported by piracy-news site TorrentFreak.
The pirates added, “Don’t forget watching a Screener is not like the real thing, you should still all go to the cinema and support the Producers.”
“Lady Bird,” “Call Me by Your Name” and “I, Tonya” are contenders in various 2018 Academy Awards categories after garnering critical huzzahs. Variety chief film critic Owen Gleiberman included all three on his list of the top 10 films of 2017.
The piracy of the trio of movies comes two weeks after Hive-CM8 leaked Louis C.K.’s black comedy “I Love You, Daddy,” in the wake of that film’s distributors scrapping its theatrical release after the comedian admitted to sexual misconduct. In addition, the group claimed responsibility for the Dec. 24 piracy release of Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying,” which stars Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell.
Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age tale “Lady Bird” has grossed an impressive $28.7 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo. “Call Me by Your Name,” a dramatic romance starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet, has grossed about $3.3 million; “I, Tonya,” a fictionalized retelling of the saga of Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding featuring Margot Robbie in the titular role, has pulled in $1.3 million in 18 days of release.
More awards-season movies may leak online in the next few weeks. According to TorrentFreak, Hive-CM8 has guaranteed only that it will not be releasing blockbuster “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to piracy networks.
Pictured above: Lucas Hedges (left) and Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird”