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 Theater Owners Rep Says Sony Losing $30 Million on The Interview

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PostSubject: Theater Owners Rep Says Sony Losing $30 Million on The Interview   Theater Owners Rep Says Sony Losing $30 Million on The Interview EmptySun Jan 18, 2015 9:05 pm

http://411mania.com/movies/theater-owners-rep-says-sony-losing-30-million-on-the-interview/

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Okay folks, so consider the source on this one because no one’s going to accuse them of being perfectly objective. But according to the vice president of the National Association of Theater Owners, Sony will lose at least $30 million on The Interview. NATO VP Patrick Corcoran wrote a column for NATO’s BoxOffice.com in which he made the argument that the studio’s simultaneous release of the much-talked about film in a limited theatrical capacity and on VOD leaves Sony “$30 million in the hole and almost out of cards.”

Sony’s planned release of The Interview on December 25th was, of course, stymied after the group Guardians of Peace hacked the studio and then made threats against theater owners that said to “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)” In the wake of that move, Sony told theater chains that they could opt out of releasing the film if they chose to, which caused major chains like Carmike Cinemas, Bow Tie Cinemas, Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Theatres and Cinemark Theatres to all bow out. Following this move, Sony decided to pull the Christmas Day release and said that there were “no further release plans” to release the film on any platform, including VOD.

It was only after the studio was widely criticized for pulling the screening that they reversed the decision, announcing on December 23rd that they would release the film in 300 mostly-independent theaters on Christmas Day and also on VOD through Google Play, Xbox Video, and YouTube. iTunes and cable/satellite on-demand were added shortly after. Despite the fact that Sony announced on January 4th that the film had grossed $31 million in streaming revenues, along with $5 million in its theatrical run, Corcoran agues that the film is still a loser and said, “The only game changed here was just how much Sony left on the table.”

Corcoran writes, “We haven’t heard any new digital dollar figures from Sony since Jan. 4, so it’s a little hard to estimate where it will end up, but I’m feeling generous. Say $50 million. Given the chaotic nature of the ad-hoc release plan and Sony’s desperation to play the movie on any home-release platform that would take it, I’m going to assume, less generously, that Sony pockets 60 percent of that sum instead of the customary 70 percent.”

He then did some speculative math based on those guesses and said that SOny should get back around $33.5 million total from that, adding, “Let’s be generous again and assume the same international box office that might have resulted from a traditional release–although with so many pirated pristine digital copies out in the wild, that may be tough. Add $10 million. We’re at $43.5 million, and it has already had a home release. Frankly, the waters here are uncharted. Premium cable usually bases what they’ll pay on theatrical performance–how do you measure that? Sony has announced a DVD/Blu-Ray release for February 17–what kind of disc sales and rentals will you get when it has already been in the home?”

The studio spent $44 million in the production and $30 million in marketing, which is where he comes up with the $30 million loss.

It must be said that Corcoran is writing from a very particular point of interest on this topic and making a lot of guesses, so his numbers should by no means be taken as gospel. Sony has yet to release the film overseas, with the first international release hitting Australia this weekend. Those markets have not had VOD releases, although copies of the film have been online in pirated form since Christmas Day.
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