×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Interview’ Makes $40 Million Online and On-Demand

Despite terrorist threats and a last-minute digital release, “The Interview” has generated over $40 million in rentals and sales, Sony Pictures reports.

In addition, “The Interview” has been rented or purchased online and through cable, satellite, and telecom providers more than 5.8 million times from Wednesday, December 24, 2014, through Sunday, January 18, 2015.

After major theater chains pulled out of showing “The Interview,” Sony Pictures had to scramble to pull together an emergency digital release for the R-rated comedy. The publicity surrounding the cancellation appears to have helped “The Interview” find an audience online and on-demand.

Despite those impressive figures, it’s not clear if the film will be profitable. It cost roughly $75 million to produce and market, according to knowledgeable insiders, and theatrical ticket sales have been minuscule. The film has made roughly $6 million domestically.

The film about a hapless TV host tasked with assassinating North Korea’s Kim Jong-un was originally intended to be released on roughly 3,000 screens on Christmas Day. However, the subject matter allegedly inspired a cyber-attack from North Korea that brought Sony to its knees. After hackers evoked 9/11 and threatened violence, a theatrical release was briefly scuttled.

After Sony announced it was changing course and releasing the film on digital platforms, major theater chains refused to screen it. That left a few hundred arthouse and independent theaters that were willing to exhibit the picture.

A Bloomberg report citing a person close to the studio stated that Sony expects to break even on the film, but that math has been disputed by the National Association of Theatre Owners. In a Box Office magazine column, NATO spokesperson Patrick Corcoran argued that the film will lose $30 million.

“In this simultaneous-release game, Sony is $30 million in the hole and almost out of cards,” he wrote. “The only game changed here was just how much Sony left on the table.”

In a press release touting the latest digital and on-demand figures, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton offered a rosier assessment.

“We always said that we would get the movie to the greatest audience possible,” said Lynton. “Achieving over $40 million in digital sales is a significant milestone.”

More Film

  • Glass Movie

    'Glass' to Rank in Top 3 MLK Debuts With $48 Million

    M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass” is on its way to a solid debut with an estimated $48 million for the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. A sequel to 2000’s “Unbreakable” and 2016’s “Split,” the Universal superhero thriller should bring in around $41 million from 3,841 domestic locations over the Friday through Sunday period. The estimates are [...]

  • China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to

    China's 'Three Adventures of Brooke' to Hit French Theaters (EXCLUSIVE)

    Midnight Blur Films has signed a deal with French distributor Les Acacias to release Chinese arthouse drama “Three Adventures of Brooke” in France this year, the Chinese production company told Variety on Saturday. A release date has yet to be set for the film, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and stars Chinese newcomer Xu Fangyi [...]

  • Noe Debre On His Directorial Debut,

    Top French Screenwriter Noe Debre Makes Directorial Debut, ‘The Seventh Continent’

    This last half-decade, few French screenwriters have run up such an illustrious list of co-write credits as Noé Debré. Thomas Bedigain’s writing partner on Jacques Audiard’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Deephan,” Debra co-penned Bedigain’s own debut, “The Cowboys,” “Racer and the Jailbird,” by Michael Roskam, and “Le Brio,” directed by Yvan Attal. He has now [...]

  • Julien Trauman Talks Survival-Thriller Short ‘At

    Julien Trauman on Survival-Thriller Short ‘At Dawn’

    France’s Julien Trauman has never been afraid to play with genre, and in his latest short, the MyFrenchFilmFestival participant “At Dawn,” he employs aspects of psychological thriller, survival, coming-of-age and fantasy filmmaking. “At Dawn” kicks off the night before when a group of teens, one about to leave town, are imbibing heavily around a beach-side [...]

  • ‘Flowers’ Director Baptiste Petit-Gats Interview

    Baptiste Petit-Gats: ‘Editing Taught Me How to Write for Film’

    France’s Baptiste Petit-Gats is an hyphenate that keeps himself plenty busy editing, photographing, writing and directing. The bulk of his editing gigs up until now have been in documentary film work, evident in the way he shot and edited his own short film, participating in the MyFrenchFilmFestival, “Flowers.” In the film, Petit-Gats tells the heartbreaking [...]

  • Fanny Litard, Jérémy Trouilh on ‘Blue

    France’s Fanny Liatard, Jérémy Trouilh Discuss MyFFF Suburban Fable ‘Blue Dog’

    French filmmakers Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh met at university while studying political science before diverging towards separate careers. Trouilh trained in documentary filmmaking; Liatard worked on urban artistic projects in Lebanon and France. They eventually joined back up to film three shorts: “Gagarine,” a Sundance Channel Shorts Competition Jury Prize winner in 2016; “The [...]

  • MFFF: 'The Collection' Director Blanchard Readies

    'The Collection' Director Emmanuel Blanchard Readies First Feature

    Paris-born Emmanuel Blanchard studied and then taught history before becoming a documentary filmmaker responsible for films such as “Bombing War,” “Le diable de la République” and “Après la guerre.” He’s currently directing “Notre-Dame de Paris”, a 90-minute animated part-doc, part-fiction film on the building of the world-famous Paris cathedral. Competing at MyFFF, “The Collection” is [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content