Hacking, Patriotism and Publicity Make “The Interview” Sony’s Most Successful Online Release Ever

Perhaps there is no such thing as bad publicity. When is hacking a good thing?

the interview online sales

When it brings in the bucks for an otherwise dumb movie that probably would've floundered at the box office.

Making the most of its limited theatrical release – and the flag waving, see this movie if you love America sentiments – Seth Rogen’s The Interview earned $15 million from online sales, while bringing in another $2 million at independent cinemas showing the movie since Christmas.

According to Sony Pictures, the comedy was "rented or purchased online more than 2 million times" during the first four days of its release.

The Interview has been the center of controversy ever since the cyberattack on Sony studios last month. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, The Interview seems to be benefiting from all the fuss that has been created around its somewhat pseudo political subject matter.

The comedy revolves around two journalists, James Franco and Seth Rogen, who score an interview with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, before being recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

Recommended: Kim Jong Un Wants To Go To War Over A Movie

The movie's planned Christmas Day release, rumored to have been the reason behind the Sony cyberattack, was subsequently canceled after the hackers issued terror attacks threats.

However, the massive public outcry that followed brought a lot of attention to the movie from all over the world – something it might not have been able to achieve had the hackers not intervened. As a result, the demand for the movie shot up incredibly, leading some independent chains to show it and a massive online groundswell of renting, buying and streaming the flick.

The result: Somehow, all that good/bad publicity paid off and The Interview became Sony’s most successful online release ever.

"Through Saturday, Dec. 27, including all of its online distribution platforms, The Interview has been rented or purchased online more than 2 million times," read a statement from Sony Pictures. "Total consumer spending through Saturday for The Interview online is over $15 million."

While $15 million falls short of the expected opening the $44 million movie was initially expected net, The Interview is still undoubtedly a tremendous video-on-demand success story.

Experts now consider it as “a test case for simultaneous VOD and theatrical release” – which is an unbelievable achievement considering how ridiculously stupid the film actually is.

Also: Is This Death Scene From “The Interview” The Reason Sony Got Hacked?