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Two Years After Its Unusual Release, ‘The Interview’ Remains Google’s Most-Sold Movie Ever

Dave (James Franco) and Aaron (Seth
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Talk about unlikely popularity: More than two years after its tumultuous digital-only release, “The Interview” still remains the most-sold movie on Google Play to date.

The James Franco and Seth Rogen-helmed comedy has outsold blockbusters like “Frozen,” “Deadpool” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on Google’s digital media store, according to data released by Google Monday — and that’s despite the fact that “The Interview”was also  available on Netflix for close to two years as well.

“The Interview” owes much of its digital success to threats from hackers linked to North Korea, which led to major theater chains backing out of showing the movie, and Sony effectively cancelling its theatrical release in December of 2014.

The studio instead opted for an unprecedented digital-only release strategy put together at the eleventh hour. In addition to Google Play and Netflix, the movie also was distributed via iTunes, Xbox Live and other digital resellers.

“The Interview” casts Franco and Rogen as journalists who travel to North Korea to interview the country’s leader Kim Jong-un — and are being recruited by the CIA to kill him. As part of North Korea’s backlash against the movie, hackers linked to the country broke into Sony’s computer systems and leaked thousands of emails as well as screen plays and other sensitive information.

Google released the data highlighting “The Interview’s” continued success Monday as part of a larger list of the most popular content on Google Play, which was unveiled as a central location for apps, games, music, books, movies and TV shows on March 6 2012.

Some of the bestsellers from other content categories included Adele’s “25” as the best-selling album, “Fifty Shades of Grey” as the best-selling book and Facebook as the most-installed app. Google Play has more than one billion monthly active users in 190 countries, according to the company.

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