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'The Big Picture': What the Sony hack revealed about major changes in the movie business

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It took "The Big Picture" author Ben Fritz a year to read nearly every document from the Sony hack. And he uncovered a larger story about dramatic changes in the industry.

Cast your memories back to late 2014. That's when we associated the words “international cyber attack” not with Russia or the U.S. presidential election, but instead with North Korea and Sony Pictures.

It's hard to overstate how big the Sony hack was — unreleased films were posted online, millions of files were leaked, confidential employee information was made public, and embarrassing details about the studio's internal workings were laid bare for anyone willing to do some digging.

Wall Street Journal entertainment reporter Ben Fritz was one of the reporters who covered the Sony hack and unearthed those details. It took him about a year to read nearly every email and document revealed in the hack. And while his reporting did in fact reveal some very embarrassing information, it also led him to a bigger story about dramatic changes going on in the film business that are largely hidden from the movie-going public.


It’s all laid out in his new book, “The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies.”

The Frame host John Horn spoke with Fritz recently about who’s winning that fight (spoiler alert: it’s not Sony) and about how the hack of the studio fits into it all.

Interview highlights:

On what stood out most from reading all the Sony hack emails and documents:

On Sony's failure to adapt to industry changes:
On Sony passing up the chance to buy Marvel:
On who is making mid-budget adult dramas now that studios are focused on franchises:
"The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies" is available March 6.
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