Sony Pictures Entertainment has received more publicity for its movie, “The Interview” than it could possibly have purchased using traditional advertising. This may be the public relations opportunity of the century.
So here is what they need to do:
Issue a press release saying approximately the following: “In light of the threatened 911 style attack on U.S. Theaters that show “The Interview”, Sony has decided not to release the movie to theater audiences. The risk of an attack on a large audience is an unacceptable one to Sony. However, we will not be blackmailed by bullies of any sort. Bullying at any level, whether international, corporate or in the schools is unacceptable. Therefore we plan to immediately distribute the movie for home viewing. We have made arrangements with Amazon.com (or NetFlix, etc.) to have the download of “The Interview” available beginning Monday, December 22, 2014, with DVDs available by December 24, 2014. It will be available for rent in High Definition for $4.00 and for purchase for $15.00. We at Sony feel strongly that bullying is a serious issue and we plan to deal with it in a serious manner. For every purchase, $1.00 of the purchase price will be donated to The AntiBullying Initiative. We will also lend our full support and cooperation to the FBI and every other agency investigating the source of the cyber attack recently conducted by bullies against Sony Pictures Entertainment.
I am certain that Sony is very concerned about further leaks of private information much like what has already been publicized. They are being blackmailed (bullied) to not show the movie or further damaging information will come out. The only way to deal with a blackmailer is to face the music now. The information will come out, so why not stand up to it and deal with it? If Sony does that, it will be back in (damage) control of the situation. Time will pass and Sony will get over it. A number of big stars will have their feathers ruffled. Some execs will look like fools. Both are short-lived issues. Were I a shareholder in Sony, I would demand that the company face this issue now.
My bet? If Sony does this, they will be seen as strong. Most fans will forget that some execs were stupid and who cares, anyway? They will think less of a few big stars. Sony will not lose audience or brand awareness in the long run. In fact, Sony will get so much good, free press out of this that the movie, “The Intrerview” will be one of their highest grossing films ever.
Also, this could be the start of the end for ‘traditional’ movie theaters. Who needs them? Today, in the comfort of your home you can have a full “big screen” experience without getting gum on your shoes or paying $10 for a bag of popcorn.