Disney/Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” poised to be the hugest movie opening in history, has hit piracy networks — two days before its U.S. premiere — with a copy evidently recorded in a Chinese movie theater now circulating online, according to a published report.
Users in China began sharing a 1.2-gigabyte file of “Avengers: Endgame” on peer-to-peer piracy networks sometime between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. China time on Wednesday, piracy-news site TorrentFreak reported. The pirated copy has since spread to English-language torrent networks, according to the report.
However, per TorrentFreak’s report, the quality of the video-cammed pirated copy is particularly bad. “The image flickers constantly throughout,” the site quoted a source as saying. “It’s semi-rotated and is littered throughout with watermarks for a gambling site that spin around the screen.”
The reported piracy of “Avengers: Endgame” comes after its debut Wednesday in China, where it pulled in in more than $100 million and is set to be the biggest Hollywood movie ever in the country. “Avengers: Endgame” is slated to hit theaters in North America on Friday, April 26.
A Disney rep did not respond to a request for comment on the report.
The illicit copy of “Avengers: Endgame,” as poor as the quality may be, comes after a spoiler-rich video clip, subtitled in Arabic, hit Twitter and Reddit last week, according to reports.
Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed the movie, last week urged fans in a Twitter post to not reveal “Endgame” spoilers. “Remember, Thanos still demands your silence,” they wrote, including the hashtag #DontSpoilTheEndgame in the tweet.
“Avengers: Endgame,” which has clocked record ticket presales, is tracking for a phenomenal debut with a projected $250 million-$268 million box office take in North America alone in the first three days of release.
The movie stars an ensemble cast reprising their Marvel character roles: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, and Josh Brolin. It’s the sequel to the 2018 “Avengers: Infinity War,” which also was directed by the Russo Brothers and grossed $2 billion at the box office worldwide.