It’s been a crazy week in MMA news, but perhaps one of the biggest headlines to come around now involves UFC champion Ronda Rousey. More specifically, her starring role in the upcoming action movie The Expendables 3 has been leaked to the Internet in a high-definition DVD-quality video of the entire film.
Right off the cuff, that’s bad news for distributor Lionsgate, who stands to lose millions of dollars in the fallout. With The Expendables and Expendables 2 having made more than $270 million and $310 million respectively, it was fair to assume that The Expendables 3 would’ve made a similar amount at the box office.
However, that’s suddenly not so certain. Torrent sites with illegally downloadable movies are bigger than ever, and The Expendables 3 is a reasonably high-profile film that’s a whole three weeks away from its widespread theater release.
But it’s actually not bad news for Rousey, since this film marks her first major Hollywood role. While The Expendables 3 is certain to make plenty of money regardless of the leak — and it would be a negative note if the movie made less than the first one in the series — Rousey’s name is only elevated by being attached to such a big project.
Internet piracy can also be a good source of buzz for the right movies and TV shows, so it’s also very possible that The Expendables 3 will now be seen by more people than the normal theater-going crowd.
If Rousey shines in her Expendables 3 role, it’ll come through to a much wider audience, which only helps her own brand. There’s literally no downside for her, unless The Expendables 3 somehow tanks at the box office.
We also can’t forget that this is far from Rousey’s only big upcoming role. She’s also playing characters in Fast & Furious 7, the Entourage movie, and has a contract for her own Athena Project film.
In a remarkably short time frame, Rousey has become a bigger film star than Gina Carano, and it doesn’t sound like the Hollywood offers will stop any time soon. So despite the bad news for Lionsgate, the Internet has actually done a favor for the UFC women’s bantamweight champion.