Orient Cable and Telecommunications, a pay-TV cable broadcaster that operates in the Philippine city of Dipolog, is facing a potential fine after airing a pirated version of “Avengers: Endgame” on television the day after the movie opened theatrically in the country (via Deadline). Local theatrical distributor Teatro de Dapitan filed a legal action against Orient on Wednesday, May 1, accusing the cable network of violating the Anti-Camcording Act of 2010.
According to Deadline, Orient could face a fine of up to $30,000 for broadcasting a bootleg version of “Avengers: Endgame” on television. Network executives could also face imprisonment. The broadcast occurred just under a week after the entire film leaked via piracy websites following the film’s China release. Select scenes from “Endgame” leaked even earlier on April 16. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said he was not happy about the leaks.
“I wasn’t pleased. It’s not cool. It’s not fun,” Feige said. “But the response was what I expected, which was everybody turning it off, dismissing it, ‘Don’t watch it, don’t spoil it for anybody else.’”
“Avengers: Endgame” opened to record-breaking numbers last weekend, earning $1.2 billion worldwide in its first five days. The opening includes a historic debut in the U.S. with $356 million. Box office pundits are paying close attention to the Marvel blockbuster to see whether or not the movie knocks James Cameron’s “Avatar” out of the top slot on the list of the highest-grossing films ever released (not adjusted for inflation). The movie has already surpassed $500 million in China since opening April 24.
The “Endgame” broadcast on the Orient Cable and Telecommunications channel was first reported by local press outlet ABS-CBN News. The legal action regarding the Anti-Camcording Act of 2010 accuses the network of exhibiting an unauthorized recording of the movie from inside a movie house or a cinema. (IndieWire has reached out to Disney for further comment about the Philippines’ television broadcast.)
“Avengers: Endgame” is billed as the ending to the Marvel Cinematic Universe storyline first started in 2008’s “Iron Man.” The film brings together superheroes from over two dozen Marvel movies, including Brie Larson’s recent MCU addition Captain Marvel. The blockbuster is now playing in theaters nationwide.