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Sony's 'Interview' Nabs $15 Million in Digital Sales, Rentals

28 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Digital revenue nearly quadrupled box office

Sony Pictures Dec. 28 announced it generated about $15 million in revenue from 2 million digtial sales and rental transactions of controversial comedy The Interview from Seth Rogen and co-starring James Franco.

The movie, which rents for $5.99 and sells for $14.99, bowed Chrismas Eve on select digital plaforms, including Google Play, Xbox Live, YouTube Movies, TheInterview.com, and Dec. 28 on iTunes. It quickly ranked as the top-selling/renting title on Google.

The 'R'-rated film about an interview-turned-assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jung-un has been at the center of a month-long cyber hack on Sony Pictures.

A group calling itself Guardians of Peace had threatened harm to moviegoers on the film's planned Christmas Day theatrical launch. The threat led four of the nation's largest theatrical operators to yank the film. Sony subsequently found 301 independent theaters to screen The Interview on Christmas, generating $1 million in first-day revenue.

The day-and-date digital and theatrical release marked the first time a major studio combined the theatrical and retail windows — a strategy heretofore unthinkable considering theater operators' staunch defense of the three-month box office window.

Analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles contends Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will distribute The Interview on DVD in 2015.

"Sony will find as many ways possible to monetize the movie," he said.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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