Dec. 23, 2014, 12:11 PM
- Several independent movie theater complexes have announced that Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) will make The Interview available for Christmas Day screenings.
- There has been no confirmation from the movie studio.
- Some reports last week indicated that insurance coverage was a factor in the decision by Sony on pulling the movie entirely. Under that assumption, any partial screenings of the film disproportionately drops the amount of coverage Sony would have for a loss due to the hacking incident.
Dec. 21, 2014, 7:42 AM
- North Korea has called U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyber attack on Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) "groundless slander."
- North Korea's foreign ministry announced that it wanted a joint investigation with the U.S. into the incident and warned that there would be serious consequences if the White House refused.
- The Obama administration has begun consultations with many Asia-Pacific countries to rein in North Korea, specifically seeking help from China, as virtually all of North Korea's telecommunications run through Chinese-operated networks.
Dec. 19, 2014, 11:04 AM
- The DOJ and FBI will announce today the North Korean government was responsible for the Sony (SNE -2.8%) hack that (among many other things) led The Interview's release to be cancelled. An announcement is expected by 1:30PM ET.
- Reuters reports hearing from an official that "there may be a Chinese link either through collaboration with Chinese actors or by using Chinese servers to mask the origination of the hack."
- Threat-prevention hardware/software/services provider FireEye (FEYE +4.9%), hired to probe the hack and help restore Sony's systems, is adding to yesterday's gains.
Dec. 19, 2014, 3:47 AM
- Despite early reports from U.S. intelligence officials, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was not in a position to say that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE), but the hack was "a serious national security matter" and the investigation was "progressing."
- The Obama administration is now considering a proportional response to the attack.
- It was reported yesterday that the hacking incident could cost Sony at least $200M.
Dec. 18, 2014, 8:01 AM
- The hacking incident at Sony (NYSE:SNE) could cost the company at least $200M, according to some early estimates.
- The laundry list of expenses include new software and hardware, investigative costs, legal fees, and lost productivity across the company. The $80M production budget for The Interview also appears to be a washout with the company canceling all screenings and putting VOD plans on hold.
- There's also the potential that future Sony movies will perform poorly at the box office after being released early by the hackers.
- Insurance could cover part of the Sony losses, although not without a battle.
- Previously: Legal quicksand for Sony after breach (Dec. 10 2014)
- SNE +3.0% premarket to $21.00 to take back some ground over the last week.
Dec. 17, 2014, 5:06 PM
- After five major movie theater chains abandoned plans to show The Interview in response to threats and Sony's (NYSE:SNE) high-profile hacking event, Sony has cancelled plans to release the movie on Christmas.
- Sony rose 3.4% in regular trading amid a market rally. Shares are up fractionally AH.
- Previous: Straight to VOD for The Interview?
- Update: The NYT reports U.S. intelligence officials have concluded the North Korean government was "centrally involved" in the Sony hacking event.
Dec. 17, 2014, 3:45 PM
- Movie theater stocks move higher on above-average volume.
- The rally is helping to make up for a broad decline yesterday tied to threats from the Sony hackers over U.S. screenings of The Interview.
- Though the four major U.S. theater chains and Canadian firm Cineplex (OTC:CPXGF) have all dropped plans to show the movie due to security concerns, there's a buzz among media analysts that a pay-TV operator could strike a VOD deal to rescue Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE).
- Gainers: Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ:CKEC) +3.3%, Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK) +2.6%, Regal Entertainment (NYSE:RGC) +1.9%, AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) +4.4%, Marcus Corp. (NYSE:MCS) +1.3%.
Dec. 17, 2014, 3:23 AM
- Newly leaked emails reveal that Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF) execs tried to meet with Sony (NYSE:SNE) CEO Kazuo Hirai last summer to discuss a possible merger or acquisition.
- Hirai eventually declined a meeting although he expressed interest in possible cooperation on operational matters, Reuters reports.
- Meanwhile, Sony is facing an ugly dilemma of whether to cave into hacker demands and pull The Interview from theaters, or to forge ahead, risking possible violence and potential legal liability. It has told theaters they can decide.
Dec. 16, 2014, 6:57 PM
- A disturbing turn in the Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) hacking case developed when the hackers involved warned through Internet posts of attacks on movie theaters that feature The Interview.
- The movie is scheduled to debut on December 25.
- "All the world will denounce the SONY," reads the threat.
- Movie theater stocks were lower on the day: Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ:CKEC) -2.1%, AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) -2.9%, Regal Entertainment (NYSE:RGC) -0.7%, Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK) -2.6%.
- Sony hacking case timeline
Dec. 16, 2014, 5:01 AM
- Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) has struck the latest in a string of music distribution deals, this time with Sony Music Entertainment (NYSE:SNE), as it teams up with labels to try to develop China's paid-for music market.
- In November, the company signed a similar music distribution partnership with Warner Music Group.
- Tencent is also investing heavily in content for its online video site, with a China streaming deal with U.S. network HBO and video subscription service through Disney.
Dec. 14, 2014, 7:59 AM
- Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) has cancelled the production of several films due to the cyber attack which has left it unable to process payments, The Times of London reports.
- Yesterday, hackers released a seventh cache of files leaked from the studio, along with a promise of a "Christmas gift" that would "put Sony Pictures into the worst state."
- The cyber attack has so far revealed four films, countless email threads and salary details of Hollywood stars.
Dec. 12, 2014, 9:54 AM
- A blog post from computer security firm F-Secure may send a chill through the C-suites of major corporations across the globe.
- F-Secure calls the Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) hacking incident the worst ever seen by a company, but that's not even the scary part.
- The take from F-Secure is that it's sophisticated extortionists behind the incident - not ticked off North Korea sympathizers.
- The public execution of Sony Pictures could just be a warning aimed at future targets, theorizes F-Secure.
- The FBI has issued a flash alert which warns that other company might already have the malware in their systems.
- Related: Senate passes cybersecurity bill
- Cybersecurity plays: FEYE, CYBR, PFPT, QLYS, IMPV, PANW.
Dec. 11, 2014, 2:28 PM
- Nielsen reports that so-called digitals, what the company calls consumers aged between 12 and 24, saw 7.1 movies in theaters this year - compared to the 8.4 movies the group saw the previous year.
- Moviegoers between the ages of 25 and 44 increased the number of theater trips this year to 8.1 from 7.7 in 2013.
- No great surprise, but digitals increased the amount of content they streamed this year, including more full-length movies.
- Perhaps of interest to studios (LGF, SNE, CMCSA, TWX, FOXA, DIS), a majority of digitals say they trust trailers and the opinions of friends over movie commercials aired on TV.
- Full Nielsen report
- Theater stocks: CKEC, AMC, CNK, RLD, IMAX, RDI, MCS.
Dec. 11, 2014, 2:12 PM
- The PS4 (SNE +0.5%) will become (legally) available in China on Jan. 11 at a price of RMB2,899 ($468).
- The Xbox One went on sale in China on Sep. 29 at a price of RMB3,699 ($568), following the lifting of a 14-year ban on foreign console sales. Microsoft is reportedly aiming for 1M Chinese sales in the One's first year of availability.
- Both Sony and Microsoft have to contend with the enormous popularity of PC gaming in the Middle Kingdom, as well as content censorship and the availability of black-market consoles that can run pirated games.
- Sony had sold 13.5M PS4s globally as of the end of its calendar Q3. The Xbox One hit 10M sales in November.
Dec. 11, 2014, 10:27 AM
- An official with the FBI testified in front of a Senate committee that the malware used during the hacking incident at Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) would have sailed past 90% of the cybersecurity systems in the private industry.
- The analysis could help Sony as it faces a myriad of legal issues tied to the breach.
- Previously: Legal quicksand for Sony after breach (Dec. 10 2014)
Dec. 10, 2014, 11:06 AM
- The sophisticated hacking incident at Sony Pictures (NYSE:SNE) could put the company into a legal and financial bind for years if it's found to have been negligent in protecting its network, according to an assessment from The Hollywood Reporter.
- Class-action: Attorneys now have mounds of inside information at their disposal as they consider discrimination claims of different varieties.
- Deals: Media companies looking to do distribution or rights deals with Sony can compare pricing on similar contracts, while current Sony distribution partners might claim Sony violated NDA clauses.
- Privacy: Employees have a valid complaint after social security numbers and personal information were leaked. Even actors are in the mix with the breach exposing data on hundreds of well-known stars (sorry Rambo) - while other could use disclosed contract information as bargaining chips in future movie deals.
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Sony Corp is engaged in the development, design, manufacture, and sale of various kinds of electronic equipment, instruments, and devices for consumer, professional and industrial markets as well as game consoles and software.
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