LOS ANGELES - Sony Pictures Entertainment could lose $75 million over the cancellation of its planned Christmas release "The Interview" after theater owners refused to play the picture amid threats of violence from cyber terrorists who hacked the studio.
That figure includes the $44 million that Sony spent producing the film, as well as the $30 million it shelled out to promote it, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. One of those sources said that Sony had originally planned on spending $36 million to market the picture domestically and was eight days away from premiering it in theaters when it was shelved. That meant most of its billboards, posters, other promotional materials and TV ad spend were already in place.
Insurance will cover a portion of the costs, but not the full amount, these people said.
The studio might eventually succeed in selling off the picture to another party that could release it via video-on-demand or through a subscription streaming service like Netflix. But, at this juncture it is unlikely that any company would touch the film out of fear of getting hacked as well.