Lionsgate and Millennium are one step closer to vanquishing the pirates who stole and uploaded Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables 3. London cops today arrested two men on suspicion of leaking the action sequel this summer ahead of its August 15 release. The film grossed just $39.3 million domestically before taking in more than $206 million globally. The first two installments of the franchise grossed a combined $580 million worldwide.
Detectives in the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit arrested the men, ages 36 and 33, who are believed to have illegally obtained a high-quality version of the film from a cloud-based system. They are suspected of uploading it online around July 25, after which it was viewed hundreds of thousands of times in a leak distributors allege cost them millions in lost ticket sales.
The London investigation was opened after Lionsgate began campaigning stateside and internationally to hunt down the culprits. Domestically, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched a federal probe the same day Lionsgate filed suit against the file-sharing sites hosting the film.
A week later the federal courts supported Lionsgate’s crusade against its intellectual property thieves by granting a permanent injuction against websites offering the leak. They also allowed the studio to subpoena Google, GoDaddy and other domain-name and server companies for information on exactly who is running some of those sites.