'The Interview' Generated Over $15 Million In Online Sales

The interviewSony PicturesSeth Rogen and James Franco, stars of ‘The Interview.’

Sony announced Sunday night that “The Interview” was downloaded or rented online more than 2 million times, generating over $US15 million in sales.

After initially pulling the movie from theatres, Sony decided to release it online instead. “The Interview” premiered December 24 on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox Video, and Sony’s own site, SeeTheInterview.com.

On Sunday, Apple made the movie available for rent or purchase on iTunes.

“The Interview” costs $US14.99 to own or $US5.99 to rent.

The movie was also shown in a little over 300 independent movie theatres in the US. The major movie theatre chains have refused to show it. It’s generated about $US3 million in estimated sales at the box office so far.

A week earlier, Sony canceled the Christmas Day premiere of “The Interview” after five of the top theatre chains declined to show the movie following threats by a hacker group called Guardians of Peace (GOP). Sony gave no indication the movie would be released at all until President Obama called Sony’s decision a “mistake.”

Keep in mind this doesn’t mean “The Interview” is a success. It cost an estimated $US100 million to make, including marketing costs.

Here’s the full announcement from Sony:

Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced the total number of online rentals and purchases for The Interview through the first four days of the holiday weekend.

Through Saturday, December 27, including all of its online distribution platforms, The Interview has been rented or purchased online more than 2 million times.  Total consumer spending through Saturday for The Interview online is over $US15 million.

In addition to the strong turnout for its limited theatrical release over the holiday weekend, after only four days, The Interview already ranks as Sony Pictures #1 online film of all time.

The Interview was made available online across the United States at 10AM PST on Christmas Eve to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and the dedicated website www.seetheinterview.com at a price of $US5.99. The film was also available for purchase in HD for $US14.99.  Online distribution was expanded to Canada through Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video starting later that afternoon.

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