A couple of years ago, Sony had a James Franco–Seth Rogen movie called “This is the End.” Now that title is coming true. When Sony inevitably pulls the plug on the Rogen-Franco movie “The Interview,” it will have a domino effect through the company. (BowTie theaters are the latest to say they won’t show it, virtually guaranteeing no run.)
Without “The Interview,” Sony has no holiday season. Their other big release, a remake of “Annie,” has terrible reviews and worse word of mouth. The only upside is that it’s the only movie for kids. But even they may not want to see it.
Sony hasn’t had a great year. They had only three movies cross the $100 mil mark— “The Amazing Spider Man 2,” “22 Jump Street,” and “The Equalizer.” Brad Pitt’s “Fury” is only around $84 mil, and that’s pretty much it. Nothing else really worked, and they handed “Foxcatcher,” their one shot at an Oscar, to Sony Pictures Classics. As it is, “Foxcatcher” is not catching on the way everyone hoped despite rave reviews. George Clooney’s “Monuments Men” was a big disappointment. On the bright side, Sony released “Heaven is for Real,” a faith based movie no one in LA or New York ever saw, and it grossed $91 million.
If “The Interview” had been a smash hit comedy, that might have helped. But even without the controversy and inevitable postponement, “The Interview” is getting reviews that would have killed it anyway. If “Annie” breaks even there will be a sigh of relief. But again, word of mouth and reviews are negative.
The problem is, there’s not much on the horizon. There’s “Mall Cop 2” and a Neill Blomkamp sci-fi adventure called “Chappie” with Hugh Jackman coming in March. Sony is literally waiting all year for Bond 24, “Spectre,” to give them a major boost. By the time James Bond mixes that martini, many major players in this game may be history.