While there doesn’t appear to be proof yet that hackers have actually taken the movie, the series of events closely mirrors what happened a few weeks ago with Orange Is the New Black, when hackers claimed to have taken the show’s upcoming season and then released it after Netflix declined to pay a ransom.
The demand was made in Bitcoin
The hackers are demanding “an enormous amount of money,” according to Deadline, and are asking that it be paid in Bitcoin, which would make it much harder to trace. The Reporter says that the hackers said they would release increasingly long chunks of the movie if their demand isn’t met.
Disney is reportedly refusing to pay and has begun working with the FBI.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be the franchise’s fifth entry and is supposed to enter wide release next Friday. Pirates has been a huge moneymaker for Disney, and the studio is certainly going to be concerned about anything that could cut into its box office figures.
A few years ago, Lionsgate’s The Expendables 3 leaked prior to its release and subsequently flopped at the box office. While there are some other big reasons that may have happened — like a 32 percent Rotten Tomatoes score — millions of views by pirates were cited as one possibly contributing factor.