Tags: North Korea | interview | north korea | sony | hack | million

Sony: 'The Interview' Has Made Over $15 Million Online

Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 05:39 PM

"The Interview" is shaping up to be a groundbreaking VOD success, earning $15 million online through Saturday.

The comedy, which has earned nearly $3 million in theaters, was rented or downloaded over 2 million times since hitting the Web on Tuesday, Sony disclosed. It was never supposed to be this way.

The film about a hapless TV host tasked with assassinating Kim Jong-un was originally intended to be released on roughly 3,000 screens on Christmas day. It was expected to generate $20 million during its opening.

However, the controversial subject matter likely inspired a cyber attack from North Korea. After hackers evoked 9/11 a theatrical release was briefly scuttled before Sony backtracked and lined up 331 art house and independent theaters willing to show the film. Its decision to release the film simultaneously on-demand and theatrically infuriated major exhibitors who refused to show the picture on their screens.

In this case, controversy paid off. After four days, "The Interview" already ranks as Sony Pictures highest grossing online release of all time. It also outstrips recent VOD successes such as "Snowpiercer," which earned $7 million on demand, as well as "Arbitrage" ($14 million) and "Bachelorette" ($8.2 million).

Sony did not disclose the financial terms of its deals with online distributors, but in the past they have been more favorable than the revenue split studios share with theater chains. During a theatrical release, ticket sales are usually split evenly, but digital release tend to favor the studios behind the films.

"The Interview" will depend heavily on its on-demand grosses. The R-rated comedy cost roughly $75 million to produce and market -- far more than most films that employ a simultaneous theatrical and on-demand strategy.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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Sony has announced that The Interview made more than $15 million online through Saturday.
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Sunday, 28 Dec 2014 05:39 PM
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