Avengers: Endgame is being tentatively billed as the biggest box office hit the world has ever seen.
The movie is set for release in the United States in two days’ time, when millions of Marvel fans will descend on cinemas nationwide to view the spectacular.
Interestingly, the companies behind the movie chose to release the movie in China first and as of 5pm local time today, it had already raked in around $90m in sales. That’s hugely impressive by any standard.
The decision to release in China, it was previously reported, was to help combat rampant piracy in the region. However, with millions of citizens hitting cinemas around the country of 1.3 billion people, there was always likely to be one here and there equipped with technology capable of recording the blockbuster once inside.
In anticipation of this somewhat inevitable event, TorrentFreak sources put systems in place to check for the movie being shared on BitTorrent. Between 4:00pm and 5:00pm local time, those triggers went off, indicating the jewel in Marvel’s crown had already hit the Internet.
Within minutes of the initial seed appearing, dozens of exclusively China-located users began sharing a 1.2GB torrent of the movie. There are also other variants, around the 2GB mark. We are currently unable to confirm the quality of those releases.
Data obtained by TF indicates that most initial sharers were using variants of the popular Chinese-market ‘Thunder’ torrent client, which can usually be identified via its client code beginning 7.10.35.XXX in newer variants. A sole uTorrent user from Vietnam (highlighted below) was one of the early seeds on one torrent.
The only good news for Marvel is that the version detailed above is of terrible quality.
“The image flickers constantly throughout. It’s semi-rotated and is littered throughout with watermarks for a gambling site that spin around the screen,” our source explains.
Due to the concerns about spoilers, we have no intention of posting additional screenshots (other than the above) that have the potential to ruin the movie for fans. However, we can confirm that the audio on this particular release is poor too.
Despite the release being touted in China as a TS (which should have direct audio) we are informed that there are plenty of crunching noises and intermittent coughing throughout. This version has English audio with Chinese subtitles.
If ever there was a case for viewing a movie how it should be seen in the cinema, this pirated copy reinforces that, with bells on. Whether improved versions are standing by is currently unknown.
Update: What appears to be the same copy has now begun circulating on some English-language sites, albeit in different file sizes.