Recently, Disney has requested that a California Judge issue a subpoena against ImageShack due to their website containing leaked images from the upcoming Star Wars film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The subpoena is directed to ImageShack, a website hosting a screenshot of what appears to be a Sith lord from the film set to be released in December. The pictured character wears a dark hood and a mask and is waiving a red broadsword lightsaber that’s of the same ilk seen in the movie’s trailer.” This prompts us to ask the question of whether or not this leak or leaks like this actually hurt or help the box office sales. This is not the first time that leaks in the history of film have been reported and with the advancement of technology, leaks have become more prominent. That being said, there is no way of knowing if these leaks indeed have a negative or positive impact on the total profit of the film.
Some examples of the negative impacts of leaks are revealing the stories and plot spoilers, diminishing the hype for the film, and the production studio can lose control of their content. On the other hand, some examples of positive impacts of leaks are that the film gains more publicity, which can draw more fans and people to the theaters. It can also act as a marketing strategy that allows the studio to gage their target audiences’ reaction to the film. In conclusion, we believe that leaks of this scale do not negatively impact the overall box office sales and as some believe, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”