Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there that think Sony faked the terrorist threats from North Korea in order to create a fake controversy around The Interview.
Obviously, this is a pretty far-fetched conspiracy theory, considering all the trouble and work that would go into keeping it a secret from the FBI and the American people.
[ Related: All That Was Learned From Seth Rogen & James Franco Live Tweeting The Interview! ]
But still the idea persists, mainly we think because these "Sony truthers" aren't looking at the numbers involved.
Sure, it's nice for Sony that the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy broke on-demand records, but how much more would they have made if the film had actually gone to theaters as planned?
According to National Association of Theater Owners Vice President Patrick Corcoran, Sony actually lost money on the debacle - a LOT of money. He said:
"In this simultaneous-release game, Sony is $30 million in the hole and almost out of cards. The only game changed here was just how much Sony left on the table."
Ouch! What about the fact that The Interview has made over $30 million on VOD so far?
Mr. Corcoran says those record numbers won't make up for not having theaters — and he's ready to do the math for us! He said:
"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…
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."
In all, Corcoran estimates that Sony will be taking in about $43.5 million when all is said and done. Between the film's budget and promotion, The Interview cost Sony about $74 million.
That's definitely a loss.
We hope that puts an end to the idea that Sony faked the whole thing, but hey — there are still people who don't believe we landed on the Moon.
[Image via Sony Pictures.]
Tags: business blitz, film flickers, james franco, seth rogen, sony, the interview