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‘The Interview’ has become the highest earning online movie for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Having released with numerous controversies and speculations, The Interview has earned $15 million through online rental and sales after its release on December 25. Sony Pictures Entertainment made the movie available online for rent for $4.95 on Youtube Movies, Xbox video console, Google Play and Sony sponsored www.seetheinterview.com.

The film came into limelight after the threats of violence from the group of hackers known as ‘Guardians of Peace’ if the movie made to the theatres. The hackers were also responsible for destroying data, exposing Hollywood secrets, and infiltrating Sony Pictures. The threats led to the decline from several theatres to release the film, so it grossed only about $3 million from the screening in 331 theatres. 

The film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco centres on the plot of the assassination of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The production house spent about $75 million to direct and to advertise the movie before the disruption made by the hackers. Sony Pictures expects to reduce the gap of its investment and returns with the help of Apple, which put the movie online for United States and Canada for $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own. 

Sony Pictures President of Worldwide Distribution, Rory Brue, said: “The team worked hard to get the film out by Christmas day. It was such a whirlwind to get it done that it kind of amazes me that we were able to make it happen.”

Actor Seth Rogen added: “I am grateful that movie found its way into the theatres. The fact that people actually left their houses when they had the option of staying home is amazing.”

According to a senior media analyst at Rentrak, it is the first big test for a simultaneous theatrical and online release. Such release were reserved for smaller movies usually independent movie which lacked a big theatrical marketing budget.

There was no violence witnessed after the film came on screen. However, Sony’s Playstation Network and Xbox Live were attacked by hackers called Lizard Squad on the same day. However, the services were restored later. Sony Pictures Entertainment will release the full gross of the film in the coming month.  

 Shreeya Bhattarai, Correspondent (Business)

Image courtesy: Media Commons

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