Crime rarely pays, especially if you’re not an anti-hero on a prestige drama about a guy who commits crimes, but a man named William Kyle Morarity learned that lesson this week when he was officially sentenced to eight months of house arrest and ordered to pay a $1.12 million fine for stealing screener versions of The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie. Morarity posted the movies online before they were released in theaters, with The Revenant alone being downloaded more than a million times. This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which explains that Morarity was working on the lot of a movie studio when he took the screeners, which U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker says made his crime “more egregious” due to the way it caused “significant harm to the victim movie studio.”
The court was clearly going for a “throw the book at him” thing with this case, and the prosecutors originally wanted an even harsher sentence for Morarity—specifically, “12 months in custody.” They decided to go easier on him, though, due to “familial circumstances.” As it turns out, Morarity is unemployed and supporting his wife and four young kids, one of whom reportedly has autism. As THR points out, “it’s unclear how exactly Morarity will be expected to pay his seven-figure fine.”
Thankfully, the “victim movie studio”—20th Century Fox—has presumably made a full recovery, as The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie ended up making about $800 million combined at the box office.