It's not just the world that's disappointed with the cancellation of "The Interview," the Seth Rogen-James Franco starring dark comedy on the fictional assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. Sony Pictures should probably weep at what the cancellation is going to cost the studio.
Experts peg the cost of the cancellation at $80 million and above and other security and litigation costs included, the studio would have to shell out something about $200 million and above.
"The cost to Sony from new software and hardware, employee labour to clean up the mess, investigation, lost productivity, and reputational damage, just to name a few, is at least over $100m and growing daily," Hemanshu Nigam, founder of cybersecurity firm SSP Blue, who has worked with Microsoft and News Corp, told Bloomberg.
Sony Pictures spent about $80 million to make and market the movie. But as it pulled the plug on its release after the hacker group threatened to launch 9/11 style attacks on theatres that screened the movie, the cost will only add up to its mounting security and litigation bills.
Sony Pictures is facing its worst nightmare since the past few weeks. The hacker group "Guardians of Peace" exposed a vast amount of personal data including employee personal information and several unpublished pilot plots, which could cost the company another $80 million.
Also, some employees have filed lawsuits against the company for failing to protect their privacy.
While Sony said it was doing everything in its power to minimise the damage and control the situation, the costs have already gone up two folds. Experts say that the cost will probably overshadow what Target Corp, the retail giant that was also hit by a massive credit and debit card hack, had experienced.
"This is almost impossible to quantify," Daniel Hill, president of Ervin Hill, a public relations firm told the agency. "I don't think there is a case study that's quite like this."
Sony cancelled the movie saying it was ""deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie".
"We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatre-goers," it added.
The world expressed its disgust at the decision deeming it an act of cowardice but some experts have a different take on it altogether.
Michael Goodwin, a columnist for the New York Post wrote:
"The Sony story is downright bizarre — and I don't just mean the hacking. I include the decision to make the stupid movie in the first place."
"The film also offers a strange confirmation for suspicion in much of the world that American journalists actually are government spies. That distrust has gotten more than a few heroic journalists killed," he added.