After reversing its decision not to release “The Interview” under pressure from the U.S. government, Sony Pictures is now hinting that it should receive taxpayer compensation for potential fallout.
According to HitFix.com, “The Interview” is only opening in 331 theaters, so it “will be judged more on it’s per screen [revenue] than anything else.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Hollywood Reporter reports that the movie “is pacing to earn $2 million for the four-day holiday weekend,” which would amount to just over $6,000 per theater.
“Sony has gone full hog to embrace itself as a victim of state-sponsored terrorism,” Holman Jenkins said in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, but the reality is that Sony’s inability to protect itself from hackers has already imposed diplomatic costs on the government, and may eventually impose financial ones, as well.
“Businesses need to take responsibility for keeping their own secrets,” Jenkins argues, because “Washington can’t do it for them,” and taxpayers should not have to pick up the tab for protecting and retaliating against such cyber attacks. (RELATED: Evidence Linking North Korea to Sony Hack ‘Pretty Weak’)
But in a “Meet The Press” interview on Sunday, Sony’s lead attorney, David Boies, disagreed: “We’ve got to recognize that this is not a Sony security problem, this is a national security problem.”
When asked whether “the government needs to come up with a law that indemnifies corporations that get attacked like this,” Boies responded that, “we did something like that in connection with the 9/11 attacks … and the government has got to lead.” (VIDEO: Sony’s Mounting Costs from ‘The Interview’ Leak)
Boies went on to say that “it was helpful to have the president recognize publicly that this was an unacceptable attack, that we cannot have state-sponsored attacks that are designed to censor what we do here in this country,” but added, “I would have liked to have seen it without the sort of ‘blame the victim’ aspect of it.”
Jenkins, on the other hand, says, “President [Barack] Obama was right to be annoyed with Sony for tossing the problem in his lap by canceling the movie’s release,” especially considering that some theaters remained willing to show the film, and that “Sony could have released the picture through its Crackle TV app or via its PlayStation Network without fuss.”
Instead, he claims, Sony has sought “to fully offload its own fumble onto U.S. policy-makers, possibly as prelude to angling for compensation like the victims of 9/11 received.”
Moreover, the real motivation behind the decision, according to Jenkins, is that Sony “was worried what other embarrassments hackers might leak,” and that “the hackers promised to stop releasing the company’s emails and documents,” if the film was cancelled. (RELATED: Sony Hack Reveals Celebrity Gossip, Plan to Undermine Free and Open Internet)
One good thing to come out of the episode, Jenkins asserts, is that “many businesses looking on will be keener to act now that they realize that CEO emails are at risk, not just the credit-card numbers of customers.”
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