Who really lost the standoff over The Interview?

The hacking dust is starting to settle.  The laughs from the streamed release of The Interview are starting to fade.

And while the racist rhetoric from North Korea continues to bubble up, and while somehow the country mysteriously keeps losing its internet altogether (hehe), we’re well into the denouement of this story (read my first post about it here – including all your comments on whether you would have released it or not).

So who lost?

Was it North Korea, who is surely going to suffer a heck of a lot more in the long run after their childlike internet pranks? (And God forbid they try some show of force – the entire world would use it as an excuse to rid the planet of this evil dynasty.)

Was it Sony, who had their dirty, dirty laundry aired out for the world to see, and lost millions (and lost face) by pulling the movie from its initial release?

Neither.

You know who really lost?

The movie theaters.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy did the cinemas get bitch slapped.

With Netflix, Roku, Hulu, Amazon Prime and the billion and a half other ways consumers have to watch movies these days, the theaters have already been in the middle of an all-out-war to keep people coming to the theaters, and buying popcorn for $18.95 a bag (oh, but free refills!).

And last week, when the scandal-hit-the-fan, the theaters said, “Nope.  Not showing it.  Sorry, Sony.  Not taking that risk,” which was their way of essentially saying, “Leaving your homes to see a movie is unsafe.”

So, people just stayed home and watched it.

Come on AMC, Regal, and the like!  Did you really think this movie would stay on a shelf?  You had to know someone would stream it.  Were you really shocked when YouTube picked it up?

You’ve heard of YouTube, right?  You know, that company that could own you all with just a few more gaffes like this one?

Someday they will point to the streaming of The Interview as the final straw on the movie theaters’ back.

I’m just glad that live entertainment is live entertainment, and even when it’s streamed, it can’t ever be replicated.

 

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Comments
  • Rich Mc says:

    Agree, theaters lost, but understand the American Public also lost big time, because a media precedent for capitulation has been firmly established. The CYA- oriented attorneys running Sony have ruled the day, and how long before another film(s) judged distasteful by any violence-oriented state or ideological group will experience a similar corporate decision? Switching distribution channels and even recouping most lost corporate revenue is hardly an acceptable trade-off for Americans’ loss of personal freedom.

  • David Merrick Jr says:

    To be fair, the movie theaters are over-cautious ever since Aurora, so pulling the plug was, for them, a no-brainer. Great that the indie theaters got a hot picture.

    As for AMC, they are now owned by Wanda, China’s biggest entertainment company. China is, of course, North Korea’s largest patron. They were probably thrilled to cancel.

  • Ed Katz says:

    Yes- you nailed it, Ken!
    Again!
    Another great post.
    Thanks.

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