NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE) - Get Report said its controversial movie, The Interview, opened Christmas Day to sold-out viewings, grossing more than $1 million in box office sales as it debuted in more than 300 theaters.
The movie was also streamed online and attracted droves of viewers. Many moviegoers said they were championing patriotism and freedom of expression, according to several reports.
However, Sony reversed that decision amid media criticism. The Interview stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as journalists required to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
"We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for The Interview," Sony CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement Wednesday. "It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech.
"We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day."
Sony , which trades in a 52-week range of $15.23 to $22.32, was fairly flat midday Friday, at about $21.23 in a 52-week range of $15.23 to $22.32. The stock has enjoyed a firm rally in the wake of the controversy with shares gaining about 5.9% from Dec. 16 to Dec. 23.
Microsoft was trading in the red Friday, with shares near $47.95 in a 52-week range of $34.63 to $50.04. Microsoft is up 28.3% year-to-date.
TheStreet Ratings team rates SONY CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate SONY CORP (SNE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including feeble growth in the company's earnings per share, deteriorating net income and disappointing return on equity."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: SNE Ratings Report
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.