Netflix will stream “The Interview” on Jan. 24

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Interview’ on track to break release record.

The Interview—the film lampooning North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that wasn’t, then was—will be available to stream on Netflix in the United States and Canada starting on Saturday, Jan. 24. Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the Internet-based video-streaming service, plans to offer Sony Corp.’s controversial comedy “The Interview” to subscribers in the U.S. and Canada.NEW YORK — Digital sales for “The Interview” are up to $40 million, putting the release on track to eclipse “Bridesmaids” as the biggest online release. Google Play, Xbox and Apple TV previously offered the movie for purchase after the movie was pulled from many theaters following threats from hackers.

The terms of the deal was not announced, but this gives Netflix another revenue stream for the film that is just barely covering its $46 million production costs. In a statement Tuesday, Sony Pictures chief executive Michael Lynton called the total “a significant milestone.” The film has been playing on a variety of online and on-demand platforms.

Netflix reported earnings of $0.72 per share on revenue of $1.48 in the December quarter, handily beating Wall Street estimates for earnings of $0.45 per share and coming in just shy of revenue. While record-breaking, the digital release of “The Interview” means Sony will struggle to break even on the $40 million-plus film, whose national release was canceled amid a diplomatic dispute with North Korea. Sony reported today that The Interview has made $40 million since Christmas, only $4 million shy of the film’s budget (though Variety reports that the film cost $75 million, including production and marketing). That subscriber growth and better-than-expected profits further validates Netflix’s continued international expansion efforts and investments in original programming.

Really, it was only a matter of time: Netflix already does business with Sony, and CEO Reed Hastings revealed that he was on team The Interview in early December. While the company says it’s still figuring out certain markets like China, Netflix nonetheless expects to “complete our global expansion over the next two years, while staying profitable, which is earlier than expected.” Netflix also expects to air 320 hours of original programming in 2015, triple the amount it aired in the previous year. On the programming front, Netflix faces growing competition from Amazon, which recently won a Golden Globe for its show Transparent and made headlines by signing up Woody Allen to produce his first-ever TV series. The company’s stock shot up more than 10% in after-hours trading following the earnings report — a far better outcome than the previous quarter when the stock dipped 25% for missing its subscriber forecasts.

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