The Interview digital sales hit $40 million, could be the biggest ever

21 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Sony’s ‘The Interview’ surpasses US$40mil in digital sales.

The Interview, the North Korea-baiting comedy which prompted an unprecedented cyber attack on Sony Pictures, looked destined at one point to never be seen – but now gets its biggest audience yet as it arrives on Netflix in the US this weekend. The film stars James Franco as a bolshy talk show host and Seth Rogen as his producer, who, once netting an interview with Kim Jong-un, are asked to assassinate him by the CIA. Michael Lynton, chief executive of Sony Corp’s entertainment arm, called the US$40mil (RM144.95mil) mark “a significant milestone” for the studio’s unprecedented online and pay television release, on platforms such as Google Inc’s Google Play, Apple Inc’s iTunes and Time Warner Cable. The film’s digital release on Dec 24 was cobbled together a week after Sony Pictures shelved a wide release when major theatre chains refused to screen the movie due to unspecified threats of violence from hackers.

It angered a hacker group called Guardians of Peace, who leaked a vast cache of data from Sony Pictures, including entire films, salary details, and excruciatingly embarrassing personal emails between executives. The group then threatened terrorist action against cinemas who screened The Interview, prompting cinemas chains to pull it from schedules, and Sony to eventually cancel the release altogether. The film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which depicts the fictional assassination of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, has also earned US$6mil (RM21.73mil) at the box office after independent theatres pushed for a limited release on Christmas Day.

It was unclear if Sony Pictures would recoup its investment in the comedy, which cost US$44mil (RM159.36mil) to make and tens of millions more to market.

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