The numbers are in for Seth Rogen and James Franco’s new movie, The Interview.
On December 26, it was widely reported that The Interview earned $1 million from its limited release December 25 in select theaters. Now that’s closer to nearly $3 million earned in theaters this weekend.
The Interview was released in 330 theaters – which is only about 10% of U.S. theaters – and the likes of George R. R. Martin held screenings.
People were keen to learn how being released offline and online together would affect sales.
Since Christmas Eve, the movie has been available on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox and had its own website to facilitate digital sales. On Sunday, the movie was also made available on iTunes.
Many online stores only allowed people in the U.S. to purchase or view the movie. As such, people spent the weekend complaining that they were being pushed into pirating if they wanted to watch the movie and didn’t have an American credit card or American address.
The movie has made money online though. And it’s being considered a success. It rents for $5.99 and sells for $14.99. According to Variety.com, it earned $15 million so far online. Most of that revenue was through YouTube and Google Play. It was rented online or downloaded over 2 million times since Tuesday.
According to Sony, the movie was supposed to be released in 3,000 screens and earn $20 million opening weekend. It cost $75 million to make the movie and to market it. Not the amount they would have spent on marketing if they’d planned for a VOD release. Here’s more from Variety:
“The Interview” is shaping up to be a groundbreaking VOD success, earning $15 million online through Saturday.
The comedy, which has earned nearly $3 million in theaters, was rented or downloaded over 2 million times since hitting the Web on Tuesday, Sony disclosed. It was never supposed to be this way….
In this case, controversy paid off.
After four days, “The Interview” ranks as Sony Pictures highest grossing online release of all time. It also outstrips recent VOD successes such as “Snowpiercer,” which earned $7 million on demand, as well as “Arbitrage” ($14 million) and “Bachelorette” ($8.2 million).
Sony’s decision to provide numbers for “The Interview’s” VOD sales and rentals give rare insight into the home entertainment results of a major film release, figures that usually remain shrouded in secrecy. [via Variety]