Yet another high profile movie has been leaked to the internet before its release… but this time it’s a different cut of the film than what you’ll see in theaters this Friday, according to my sources. Rob Zombie’s Halloween is out there on the internet for all the pirates to see, and this cut is from before Zombie’s reshoots – and while he told me they weren’t reshoots, this cut features a very different scene where Michael Myers escapes from the Smith Grove Sanitarium.
In the theatrical version, Michael is being moved inexplicably on the night before Halloween and suddenly, and seemingly without much provocation, bursts his chains and kills the guards. In the cut that has been leaked, the guards are raping a female inmate and try to convince Michael to join in. You have to assume that this version of the escape, which was apparently hated in test screenings, was meant to make Michael more of a sympathetic protagonist.
The leaking of Halloween is likely a huge headache for The Weinstein Company; this is the kind of film whose target audience is web-savvy and who might very well opt to download the film rather than go see it this weekend. While piracy likely doesn’t make a big dent in the blockbusters, it probably does hurt a movie like this. It’s especially troubling that this is a leak of an earlier cut of the film; most illegal copies that show up online or for sale come from some company in the post-production process. A movie can go through a lot of hands during post, and while the studios treat press at screenings like registered sex offenders at a Chuck E Cheese, the real pirates are often collecting studio money. But the leak that’s out there has ‘Property of Dimension Films’ stamped on it, according to screen shots on the Bloody Disgusting forum. That means this came from in-house… just like the leak of Hostel Part II and the leak of Sicko.
How will this affect Halloween this weekend? I guarantee the film will have a massive Friday to Saturday drop, and not just because it’s the kind of movie that will be Friday front loaded, as so many of the genre are, but because of poisonous word of mouth. The leak being out there will certainly give Zombie and the Weinsteins something to point at when the film underperforms, though.