'The Interview' Rakes in $15M in Downloads
The controversial Seth Rogen film was released online Wednesday
Seth Rogen and James Franco's R-rated comedy The Interview has generated $15 million in online sales since being made available Dec. 24, according to the figure released Sunday afternoon by Sony.
The movie has been rented or purchased over 2 million times, already making it the studio's biggest online film of all time.
Online consumers had access to The Interview via YouTube, Google Play and Xbox one day before hitting select theaters on Christmas Day. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the majority of the film's online sales came from Google Play and YouTube.
In regards to its theatrical run, the controversial film grossed an estimated $2.8 million from 331 independent cinemas over the four-day weekend.
Originally, The Interview was supposed to open nationwide on Dec. 25. But those plans were scrubbed by Sony when the group reportedly behind the unprecedented hacking of the studio threatened to wage a physical attack on theaters showing the film, which stars Rogen and Franco as two journalists asked by the CIA to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (The FBI has linked the hackers to North Korea.)
When President Barack Obama subsequently criticized Sony for canceling the film, Sony decided to release The Interview day-and-date in theaters and online, much to the ire of most cinema owners, who refused to play a film that's being simultaneously made available elsewhere.
So far, The Interview is the largest such day-and-date release in history in terms of the money generated.