The success of The Interview movie is apparent in the numbers Sony has announced on Sunday night, with the company stating that The Interview movie has been downloaded or rented online via YouTube Movies, Xbox Video or Google Play more than 2 million times, reports Business Insider.
Costing anywhere from $5.99 to rent to $14.99 to purchase The Interview outright, the movie has generated more than $15 million in online sales – and with the $2.8 million in box office sales gained via The Interview limited release in movie theaters – The Interview has enjoyed an impressive $18 million gross opening period, according to Reuters.
According to Sony, the online data reflects that more than 2 million downloads occurred in the four-day period ending on Saturday, which means The Interview is Sony Pictures' number one movie of all time in the history of the company. Unlike individual movie ticket sales at the box office, reports of 2 million downloads or more translate into millions more viewings.
For example, this reporter paid $5.99 to watch The Interview online via YouTube Movies, and my husband watched the movie with me. Therefore, although my rental would count as one of those downloads in the two million-download count, two of us watched the movie. There's no accurate way to estimate how many people actually viewed The Interview online, because there was likely a combination of folks who watched it alone, as part of a couple – or even among a group of people during The Interview movie viewing parties.
With all the news about the legal downloads and rentals of The Interview movie, there hasn't been an update to the Sunday numbers of how many times The Interview has been pirated online. According to CNN, The Interview was illegally downloaded 750,000 times on Christmas Day, with statistics from torrent websites reporting illegal download activity.
Although The Interview movie appeared illegally on websites like Reddit, Mega, and linked to via Twitter from the hacker group Anonymous, some of the pirated copies of The Interview were removed. Also, the illegal copies of the much-pirated movie didn't seem to put much of a damper on those who endeavored to buy or rent The Interview legally and watch it online – providing Sony with good revenue numbers by Sunday.
[Image credit of The Interview: Sony]