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Andrew Reid

Sony's online streaming release of The Interview has taken $30 million

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By chance and circumstance The Interview is the first major motion picture to debut on the internet. Shot on a production budget of $40m the film has so far taken $30m at the virtual box office. Also in an interview Michael Lynton of Sony Pictures has talked for the first time about the full scale of the hack. 100 terrabytes of data stolen, wiped and the studio's network is still offline 6 weeks later.

http://www.eoshd.com/2015/01/sonys-online-streaming-release-interview-taken-30-million/

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Any digital content distributor ( apps, games, movies ) will tell you that the biggest challenge is content discovery. This film benefited from INSANE marketing, even the President gave it promotion, the value of that sort of exposure would normally cost tens of millions of dollars in marketing, in this case it's literally priceless. So this will change very little for independent producers who still cannot afford to stand out even if they manage to finance and produce a full feature film.

What's gonna happen is that we will soon see a same-day release distribution for all movies as studios basically adopt online. Is this a good thing? Sure, for the consumer. But I'm personally concerned about the big players monopolizing the market...I was kind of hoping online distribution would fly under the radar of Hollywood for another decade and that this space would be colonized by indies ( Vimeo, etc. )...but the success of Snowpiercer and Interview is gonna attract the big sharks who will fucking stomp on the small fish with better production values, bigger marketing and lower prices...sort of the way big cinema chains killed all the indie mom-and-pop cinemas...by lower prices.

Netflix is already spoiling viewers by super cheap prices and is screwing the artists that DO get distributed on it. If the big boys join the online distribution game they will start competing with Netflix and driving prices even lower.The fact that they slashed the price from $9.99 to $4.99 fucking terrifies me. They can afford to do that, while indies can't and need every dollar to survive. If they devalue online movies this way, then it will be TWICE as hard for indies to break even. It's very hard to make a profit on an indie film as it is, this will just make it even harder. :(

 

 

 

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If something is worth watching, and it's exclusively priced at a higher level I will pay for it. The challenge as you rightly put, is finding out about it in the first place.

We need better content curators.

Obama's recommendation that we all watch The Interview isn't that.

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If something is worth watching, and it's exclusively priced at a higher level I will pay for it. The challenge as you rightly put, is finding out about it in the first place.

We need better content curators.

Obama's recommendation that we all watch The Interview isn't that.

​Exactly.  Perhaps one of us should start a website that caters to highlighting only indie titles worth watching.  It doesn't need to provide the films, simply bring them to peoples attention so they know to look for them on iTunes, Vimeo or whatever platform they choose.  It could even have audience ratings.  I think this could be a great idea for yet another section of EOSHD...what do you think Andrew?  If it becomes popular then the already established film specific sites like iTunes and Rotten Tomatoes might even follow suit.   Curating might seem like a full time job but it could be made so that the filmmaker uploads their title and artwork to the page and then maybe other users could give it a one to 5 star rating if they have seen it so the cream would rise to the top.  Either that or every title gets it's shot at the front page and they rotate regularly.  The definition of "indie" might also be defined less broadly than on other sites.  You've already got a decent following here...anybody else think this is a good idea?

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So they almost made back their advertising budget. This whole thing has been a cluster fuck and a half. 

​Seth's last film Neighbors made $50 first weekend so I doubt very much The Interview would have only made 10-12. It was tracking reasonably well before they got scared and would have made at least 30 opening weekend.

I screwed up.  Interview opened in 300 theaters and did $2.5M for the weekend.  If it's a normal Christmas release without the terrorism, then it opens in 10x more theaters and likely gets 10x more money - $25M.  I originally ran numbers on first day earnings not weekend earnings, so I came out incorrectly low at $10-$12M.  So yeah I'm actually at $25M for the weekend, pretty close to your estimate.

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The Interview, like all Seth Rogen films, wasn't THAT bad. There were a few funny parts. I didn't finish and wish to hell that I could have that time back, (Darjeeling Limited :-)) Just saying it was kind of what I expected. Not horrible, far from great, but the fact that world news and the question of freedom as we know it.. and a Rogen movie is the centerpiece. He must be very proud.

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That is Nowhere near the 100 or so million they spent in total cost including marketing and other expenses.  Still long ways to go till they recoup the cost.  

​100 million? I would say it would be around 60-70 million. Usually the calculus is that around 50% of the movie's budget (on average) is spent in marketing. That burden (20-30 million) is aided by product placement and branding so that the studio does not have to cover for all of it -in Men in Black III, Mercedes, Burger King, etc. paid for pretty much all the marketing costs-. That's why the conventional rule is that a movie needs to make 2.5 times its cost to break even (50% of gross goes to cinemas).

In the case of VOD, I suspect Sony has a greater return than 50% of the gross, but who knows... Needless to say that the movie still has to do relatively well overseas to be profitable, because although the 100-150 million worldwide was doable at first it will be more difficult with such poor domestic figures.

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