Sony apparently isn’t the only one who lost money on “The Interview” last week.
A man in Ohio tried to cash in on the buzz surrounding Seth Rogen and James Franco’s new comedy when he purchased $650 in tickets or 50 passes at $13 each to the movie.
According to WCPO in Cincinnati, Jason Best learned that a local theater in Clifton was among the 300 theaters to play the controversial film on Christmas Day and hoped to resell the tickets online at a higher price (i.e., he wanted to scalp them).
“I saw all the hype about ‘The Interview’ on the 23rd and thought, ‘Hey, folks are selling these tickets in other cities and it seems like that’s the thing to do right now so why not give it a shot so see how it goes,”’ he said.
But the plan backfired once Sony announced it was streaming the film online for half the price on sites like YouTube, Hulu and Netflix.
Now the man is demanding a refund from the Esquire Theatre.
“I thought I’d get my money back because the theater’s website *very clearly* said the tickets were refundable,” Best told WCPO in an email.
But a theater manager told Best that the arthouse didn’t have a website and that “The Interview” was listed as a special event.
It turns out Best had purchased the tickets from movietickets.com, which specifically warns on its website that theater owners reserve the right to withhold refunds for special events.
Plus the manager said that scalping tickets was illegal.
The $40 million-budgeted “Interview,” which expanded to iTunes on Sunday, recently changed from a wide to limited release after North Korean hackers threatened to harm theatergoers.
The R-rated comedy earned nearly $3 million at the U.S. box office this weekend.