The massive cyber-hacking that affected Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)’s Sony Pictures Entertainment, also allowed the company to test contemporary channels for the screening of its comedy plot The Interview. In the wake of threats given by the alleged hacking group, the company allowed studio and theater chains to exercise their decision on screening the movie.
In an alternative strategic approach, Sony approached digital channels like YouTube and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Xbox platform and started showcasing the movie there. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that SPE has also struck deals with cable and satellite TV operators including Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) and DirectTV.
Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) announced that The Interview will be available to buy or rent on major pay-TV services within next few days.
CEO of Sony Pictures, Michael Lynton, reportedly spearheaded the deal to make the movie available online, on the subscription TV services and several independent theaters just within a week after its scheduled release.
Sony Pictures has already garnered a record $15 million through digital sales of The Interview alone. The title has already been purchased or rented over 2 million times in the U.S. and Canada alone. Sources estimated YouTube and Google Play Movies to contribute the vast majority of the film’s sales. Other digital channels also include a dedicated Sony website, Xbox Video, and iTunes Store.
Certainly the revenue from alternative channels could not offset the box office; however, it marked significant recovery for the company which required pulling the movie from theaters amid the threats. Sales at select theaters, which agreed to screen the movie, amounted to just about $2.8 million during the holiday weekend.
Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) acknowledged that independent theaters are stepping up to showcase the movie and their number is increasing steadily. Last week 331 theaters showed The Interview and this week the number increased to 580.