Chernin: 'Wolverine' downloaded more than 4 million times

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Chernin: 'Wolverine' downloaded more than 4 million times

Wed May 06, 2009 @ 05:39PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Wolverine Outgoing News Corp president and COO Peter Chernin said something pretty surprising on an earnings call today. He mentioned the company estimates that the leaked "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" has been downloaded 4 million-plus times.

If true, that's far more than some previous estimates of 1 million or so illegal downloads of the Fox superhero pic, which appeared on the Web as an unfinished workprint more than a month before its release in theaters last weekend.

Regardless of whether you believe the leak took a chunk out of the film's estimated $160 million opening weekend worldwide gross or nudged more people to see it, that's a huge number of potential customers who sampled a major studio tentpole movie for free.

Meanwhile, the FBI continues to hunt for whoever uploaded the unfinished version of the film. A month into the government's investigation, no announcements have been made.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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