Sony Pictures released a YouTube trailer of the latest Annie remake last month. However, that film, along with four others from Sony Pictures, has been leaked online a few weeks ahead of schedule.
According to a CNBC report, copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies, including Annie, are getting unwelcome early exposure. However, compared to Annie, a film already in theaters for a month has gathered the most attention in regards to copyright-infringing downloads.
"Fury has been downloaded by over 888,000 unique IP addresses since showing up on peer-to-peer networks on Nov. 27," CNBC reported, citing information from piracy tracking firm Excipio. "That's high enough to be the second most downloaded movie currently being pirated, and it's not out of movie theaters yet."
As for Annie, CNBC reported that the film had been downloaded by over 184,000 unique IP addresses. However, Sony thinks that Annie won't be pirated as much since it is aimed at families, as opposed to films like Fury that target young males.
A group of hackers calling themselves the "Guardians of Peace" took responsibility for the online attack and leaks, which happened on Nov. 24. There have been theories that the hacking may have come from China or North Korea, whose leadership is unhappy with the upcoming release of Sony's "The Interview."
Online leak aside, the modern remake of Annie focuses on an updated setting from the Broadway version; at the same time, it holds on to its essentials, according to Paulette Cohn of Parade Magazine. Annie, played by Oscar-nominated actress Quvenzahne Wallis, 11, is deserted by her parents and ends up in foster care with mean Miss Hannigan, played by Cameron Diaz, who pays the bills by taking in several children like her.
"I think it's just one of those stories that reaches people," Diaz said. "People are drawn to it because you want to have Annie find someplace where she doesn't have to take care of herself, where she doesn't have to fight, that she gets to find somebody who wants to love her, and who will give her a home and take care of her."
Will Stacks, played by Jamie Foxx, is the modern update of Daddy Warbucks, a billionaire businessman running for mayor of New York. The lives of Stacks and Annie intersect when he pulls her from a vehicle's path on a busy New York street and a photo capturing the incident spreads all over the Internet in a viral fashion.
Foxx told Cohn that he can relate to the "hard-knock life" as portrayed by Annie, based on what happened in his youth over Christmas.
"The best gift I ever received was from my grandparents," Foxx said. "It was a Free Spirit, 10-speed, 24-inch bicycle when I was like 10 years old. We didn't have a whole lot of money, so I thought about the sacrifice they made. The thing about it was, I had to ride that 10-speed until I was out of high school and in college."
Even the star of the film, Wallis, could draw similarities between the character she plays and her personal life.
"We both go for it, we both keep doing what we want to do, and we both are very strong," Wallis said.
Wallis told Cohen that she appreciates the blessings in her own life, including "my family, my toys, being able to live in a house, and all the stuff that I am able to do now, like go to a nice school."
Foxx noted that the universal themes in Annie will resonate with everyone who watches the film.
"To be able to have family together, to be happy and healthy-it's the simple things in life that we have to hold on to," Foxx said. "Because at the end of the day if everyone can be happy and healthy, that's more than enough."
Annie is expected to arrive in movie theaters everywhere Dec. 19.