Disney revealed on Monday that hackers have managed to steal a copy of the upcoming Johnny Depp feature, Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and demand a bitcoin ransom.
Neither the hackers nor Disney have disclosed the bitcoin amount or the destination wallet address to the media. Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the theft during a town hall meeting in New York City on Monday.
Netflix Declined to Pay Ransom
Bitcoin ransoms have dominated the news cycle as of late, with last week’s global spread of the WannaCry ransomware and Netflix’s own experience with their stolen episodes of Orange is the New Black in April.
The streaming video giant declined to pay the undisclosed ransom amount, and the hackers, known as “thedarkoverlord,” subsequently released the ten episodes they had stolen to the general public. Industry observers theorized that Netflix did not feel that the premature distribution of the episodes would significantly impact their subscriber numbers.
The Pirates Films Have Earned $3.7B Worldwide
However, it’s unclear if Disney feels the same way about its movies, the ticket sales of which are dependent on people not having access to the content beforehand. Although each new Pirates movie has made less money for the studio than the previous one, the series continues to draw in large audiences around the globe. The most recent The Curse of the Black Pearl made $654m worldwide, including $241m in the United States. In total, the franchise has earned over $3.7B.
The Pirates hackers have indicated that they will release five minutes of the film initially, and then in further increments of “20-minute chunks” until Disney meets their demands.
Disney has stated that it will not acquiesce to the hackers’ demands.
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Images via Disney