'The Interview' digital grosses total $31 million, Sony says

AP News
|
Posted: Jan 06, 2015 6:49 PM
'The Interview' digital grosses total $31 million, Sony says

NEW YORK (AP) — Sony Pictures' "The Interview" has made more than $31 million from its online and on-demand release, according to the studio.

Sony announced digital figures Tuesday for the film spanning its first 11 days of release since debuting Dec. 24. Sony had previously said the film made $15 million in its first four days online, so demand for the Seth Rogen comedy has slightly declined as Sony has added more platforms.

While $31 million constitutes the most lucrative digital release for a Hollywood film, "The Interview" stood to make more in a wide theatrical release. It had originally been forecast to earn about $30 million in its opening weekend alone.

Still, the significant total represents a sizable recoup for Sony after the film appeared dead. After hackers the FBI have said are North Korean threatened violence in theaters showing the film, North America's top theater chains pulled out of showing "The Interview" and Sony canceled its release entirely.

But cobbled-together release in independent theaters and digital outlets has proven modestly successful. Playing in select theaters, "The Interview" has made about $5 million in two weeks. It's currently playing in 558 theaters, far less than the approximately 3,000 it originally planned to open in.

Sony has steadily increased digital operators in the last week, adding cable on-demand providers to a range of streaming options like YouTube and iTunes. The studio said the film has been rented, streamed or purchased 4.3 million times.

While the grosses will be divided with each distributor, Sony could potentially earn back the roughly $40 million production budget for the comedy.