‘The Interview’ Becomes 2014’s Top Seller on Google Sites

In six days, Sony’s comedy “The Interview” has become 2014’s bestseller on a pair of Google streaming sites — Google Play and YouTube Movies — according to a Google spokesperson.

The controversial Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy was still listed as the top current download as of Monday on YouTube Movies and the second-highest on Google Play behind  “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

The studio began streaming “The Interview” on Christmas Eve through the sites along with Microsoft’s Xbox Video and its own dedicated site, http://www.seetheinterview.com, for $5.99 or $14.99 for an HD version. Apple’s iTunes site came on board on Sunday.

The movie began showing at 331 independent theaters on Christmas Day and grossed $2.8 million its first four days.

Sony announced Sunday that “The Interview” had grossed $15 million online in its first four days and that it was rented or downloaded more than 2 million times. The revenues exceed those of recent VOD successes such as “Snowpiercer,” which earned $7 million on demand; “Arbitrage” ($14 million); and “Bachelorette” ($8.2 million).

Sony did not disclose the financial terms of its deals with online distributors, but in the past they have been more favorable than the revenue split studios share with theater chains. During a theatrical release, ticket sales are usually evenly divided, but digital release tend to favor the studios behind the films.

Google Play and YouTube are responsible for the bulk of the film’s $15 million total, an individual with knowledge has told Variety.

Netflix is in talks to secure “The Interview,” but no deal has been struck yet.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

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