''The Interview'' is now being talked about as a test case for simultaneous VOD and theatrical release- previously a taboo topic for the movie theater chains. Bobbi Rebell reports.
No joke- "The Interview" was Sony's biggest online movie of all time. The raunchy comedy about the assassination of the leader of North Korea- brought in $15 million dollars online on its opening weekend- which along with about $3 million from independent theaters, brought its total to $18 million- ironically about what it had been expected to bring in had it been released as planned, in mainstream theaters. Those large movie chains had refused to play it- after threats of violence from hackers. But for those who think the unconventional rollout may disrupt the standard theater first- on demand later- release pattern- Rentrak's Paul Dergarabedian- says no way: SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, SENIOR MEDIA ANALYST, RENTRAK (ENGLISH) SAYING: 'The traditional release pattern is there for a reason and in 2015 when we are expecting the biggest box office ever in theaters I don't think we are going to see the next Star Wars or Avengers or Fast and Furious or the next Pixar movie released in this way. They are just too expensive to produce and market nationwide and worldwide. " This movie did well he says, because it became an event. SOUNDBITE: PAUL DERGARABEDIAN, SENIOR MEDIA ANALYST, RENTRAK (ENGLISH) SAYING: "This was a totally switcheroo situation for the movie and it was the result of this unusual and unprecedented situation and Sony had to take what they had and try to make the best of it. It worked out pretty well though considering the bottom-line budget, production budget for the film as reported of around $40 million plus marketing costs it would still have a long way to go to recoup all those expenses but look-if awareness was currency this movie is cash rich. I mean the awareness was off the charts on this movie. " Still not clear- the exact value of that awareness and whether it will be enough for Sony to recoup the estimated more than $80 million spent on making and marketing the film.