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Cyber Attack Cost Sony $15 Million

4 Feb, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sony Corp. Feb. 4 disclosed that last November’s cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment cost the studio $15 million in direct “investigation and remediation” fees.

The episode — linked to the North Korean government by U.S. officials — was in response to Sony’s release of comedy The Interview, from Seth Rogen and co-starring James Franco. In the film, Rogen and Franco play bumbling TV journalists whose interview with leader Kim Jong-un is co-opted by a CIA assassination attempt on the Communist hardliner.

The movie, which reportedly cost about $40 million to produce, has generated $6.7 million theatrically, in addition to $40 million in digital sales and rentals. The Interview was licensed to Netflix Jan. 24 and will be released on disc Feb. 17.

As a result of the attack, Sony issued projected third-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2014) studio results, with complete financials to be released in March.

Regardless, a dearth of theatrical and home entertainment releases in the quarter are projected to reduce studio operating income by $186 million to $20 million. Revenue dropped 11.7% to $1.6 billion.

Sony Pictures Television, creator of “House of Cards,” among other high-profile shows, is also forecast to report lower revenue due to unfavorable comparisons with the prior year's home entertainment release of pay-TV blockbuster “Breaking Bad.”

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