'The Interview': Cincinnati Man Demands Refund

The news surrounding Sony Pictures Entertainment's The Interview just got weirder. A man in Ohio is demanding his money back, and you'll never guess the reason why.

Jason Best of Cincinnati was a man with a plan. When Sony Pictures Entertainment announced plans to release The Interview to a limited number of theaters, and Best discovered that a local movie house was one of the 300 nationwide theaters showing the Seth Rogen comedy, he was understandably excited. So excited that Best didn't just purchase one ticket for himself, he purchased 50.

"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,'" said Best, before adding that he planned to use one of the tickets to The Interview for himself.

According to Cincinnati news affiliate WCPO, film tickets at the theater, Esquire, normally retail for $7 during matinee times and $9.75 for evening shows. Tickets to The Interview were sold for $13 per ticket. Meaning Best dropped $650 on tickets to The Interview, hoping for a return on that investment.

He might have had one, except Sony announced plans to release The Interview on several streaming home video services, including iTunes, XBox Live, Playstation Network, and YouTube. The streaming services were all marketing the movie for rent at $5.99, well below the price Best paid for his ticket.

Unused ticket stubs for The Interview are currently posted on eBay between $9.99 and $100 for movie memorabilia collectors, so it's difficult to know how much Best lost on his investment in The Interview, but he has asked the theater for a refund.

"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.

There's just one problem, Esquire Theater doesn't want to give the refund to him.

The quibble is over the language of the refund policy. The Esquire Theater website does not list a refund policy, but the company they use for third party sales, movietickets.com, does.

Refund Policy: Tickets can be refunded at the box office (in person) up to 30 minutes prior to showtime purchased. Service fees are non-refundable. No refunds/ticket exchanges for Special Events.
Best feels that based on that policy, he's entitled to a refund on tickets to The Interview, since he never used them. Esquire Theater's position is that because The Interview was a limited release, it was considered a special event, and the theater doesn't grant refunds on special event tickets.

The company representative also added that because Best was trying to resell the tickets, he is not a customer, but a business. To show that the refusal of Best's refund isn't just about the money, Esquire has offered to donate the $650 to charity, but Best has refused, saying he's not in a financial position to donate that much money.

Do you think Jason Best deserves a refund on the cost of the extra The Interview tickets? Did you enjoy The Interview?