Fury, Annie and Mike Leigh's latest Mr Turner were uploaded onto file-sharing sites
Last week, Sony was targeted in a devastating hack that paralysed its computers all over the world and brought the global entertainment company to a standstill. But things got much worse over the weekend: five of its latest films were leaked to file-sharing sites, including Brad Pitt's WWII epic Fury, the new Mike Leigh biopic Mr Turner and the Quvenzhané Wallis-starring remake of Annie.
According to piracy-tracking firm Excipio, Fury – which is still being shown in cinemas – has already been downloaded by over 888,000 unique IP addresses since showing up on peer-to-peer networks last week. That makes it the second most-downloaded pirated movie in history.
Four other leaked films are DVD screeners of movies that haven't even been released yet. While Mr Turner has been out in the UK since October, its US release date isn't till 19 December. Annie, another big Sony film, isn't due to hit screens for another three weeks. The Julianne Moore indie film Still Alice and a fifth film, To Write Love On Her Arms, are also being pirated ahead of their release date.
The leak is being linked to last week's hack. Sony computers went offline after a skull image appeared on all screens saying that they had been "Hacked by #GOP", a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace. The message goes on to read: "We've already warned you, and this is just the beginning. We continue till our request be (sic) met."
You can see the message below. It's very Hackers circa 1995:
Dozens of Twitter accounts associated with Sony films were also hacked to read: "You, the criminals including (Sony CEO) Michal Lynton will surely go to hell."
A spokesperson said in a statement: "The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it."
The Verge managed to get in touch with one of the alleged hackers, who remained vague on the actual demands of the group. "We Want equality (sic)," they wrote. "Sony doesn't. It's an upward battle."
There are rumours that North Korea is to blame for the attack. The country is notoriously unamused by the forthcoming Sony comedy The Interview, in which James Franco and Seth Rogen attempt to assassinate Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un. It sounds pretty implausible, but hey – I guess truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction.