Thor: Ragnarok wasn't scheduled to be available for digital download until February 19, with physical discs in stores for purchase a few days later. But after a high-definition copy of the film was briefly made available over the weekend on the streaming service Vudu, thousands of people are now downloading it illegally.
A now-deleted Reddit post describes how at some point during the weekend, pre-orders to download Ragnarok through Vudu were mistakenly fulfilled early, giving people access to the movie when they shouldn't have had it. At least one person's Vudu account was synced to their MoviesAnywhere account - a service that allows you to play digital content from services such as iTunes, Vudu and Amazon on devices such as Chromecasts or Apple TVs. Within hours of the premature deliveries, Thor: Ragnarok became one of the most torrented movies on the Pirate Bay, something that one imagines Disney can't be too jazzed about:
As the TorrentFreak news site points out, the leak's popularity likely has to do with the quality of the upload. Unlike a lot of other pirated films that are prerecorded using phones directly in theatres, the pirated Ragnarok is pulled directly from a digital upload that had its copyright protection broken. There's no telling just what kind of impact the leak will have on Ragnarok's sales going forward, though it's worth pointing out that the leaked version won't come along with all of the bonus content included with the DVD and legit digital copy.
We reached to Disney Home Video for comment, but had not heard back at time of writing.