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'The Interview' Online Sales Break Sony Pictures Record

Image: 'The Interview' Online Sales Break Sony Pictures Record
Photo of the Youtube web site with "The Interview".

By    |   Monday, 29 Dec 2014 11:53 AM

"The Interview" broke Sony Pictures' Internet record, becoming the company's No. 1 online film of all-time after grossing $15 million in sales and rentals over its first four days.

The controversial comedy, which major theaters balked at showing after being threatened by hackers, was released last week on YouTube, Google Play Movies and Xbox Video, while a handful of independent movie chains braved the threats to show the comedy as well, according to ExtremeTech.com.

According to Deadline.com, Sony said "The Interview" had been rented or purchased about two million times since its release. The movie cost $5.99 to stream for rental and $14.99 to own as a download in HD.

The total doesn't include the $2.8 million the movie brought in at the 331 theaters where it was shown from Christmas on, noted Deadline.com.

"The Interview" could receive an additional boost with the announcement Sunday that Apple will begin streaming the movie on iTunes, said Deadline.com.

"It has always been Sony's intention to have a national platform on which to release this film," Sony Entertainment chief executive Michael Lynton said in a statement on Dec. 24. "We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for 'The Interview.' … We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release."

TorrentFreak.com said on Christmas that Sony likely missed a chance by limiting the release of "The Interview" to just the United States and might have hit it big with a wider release, given all the free publicity.

"Considering the unique situation, it's a real shame that Sony didn't seize this opportunity to try a worldwide debut," noted TorrentFreak. "It would have certainly brought in extra revenue. Yes, of course, those who pirate the movie are breaking the law in most countries. But honestly, is it really a surprise that so many people outside the U.S. are prepared to cross the line to see a movie tied to one of the biggest news stories of the year?"

Sony had originally canceled the release of 'The Interview' on Dec. 18 when America's top movie chains said they wouldn't show it after hackers threatened them, said ExtremeTech.com.

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"The Interview" broke Sony Pictures' Internet record, becoming the company's No. 1 online film of all-time, after the controversial comedy grossed $15 million in sales and rentals over its first four days.
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Monday, 29 Dec 2014 11:53 AM
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