Cable news outlets are reporting that Sony Pictures is finalizing a deal with Google’s YouTube and Google Play and possibly other outlets as part of its plan to release The Interview online day-and-date with its now-back-on Christmas Day release in more than 300 theaters. The YouTube plan, which we’re hearing is not finalized, would see Google’s video service offer the pic as a rental. Sony so far isn’t denying deals are coming.
From CNN’s Brian Stelter, who appeared to have this first this AM:
This is the other shoe to drop from yesterday, when Sony reached a deal with indie cinema houses to show the controversial political comedy, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists who are enlisted to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong-un. Sony boss Michael Lynton said that in addition to the theatrical rollout beginning tomorrow Sony was “continuing our efforts to secure more platforms.”
There are also reports Sony will use its own streaming platform to show the movie, though yesterday that wasn’t believed to be its existing comedy service Crackle.
In his CNN interview a couple days ago, Lynton was asked about the possibility of a YouTube tie-in. “That’s certainly an option and certainly one thing we will consider,” he said.
Nobody was talking yesterday from the usual streaming suspects like Amazon, Netflix and iTunes. In Europe, French powerhouse Wild Bunch, which has its own VOD platform in the country, responded to a question about whether they would show the film via VOD like this: “OUI!” They added, “We’d love to, but don’t think we’ll have access. We’ll see…”
The VOD strategy angered some exhibitors who have been staunchly against any reduction of theatrical windows between a movie’s release on the big screen and any other platforms.
Stay tuned on this.