The Interview pushes past $30 million in online sales, though revenue is slowing

The Interview movie

The Interview has so far pulled in $31 million via online and video-on-demand (VOD) channels, the result of 4.3 million downloads, Sony Pictures said on Tuesday.

The movie was first made available on YouTube, Google Play, and Microsoft Xbox on December 24.

Several days later it landed on Apple’s iTunes platform and last week more providers – cable and satellite companies among them – started offering the film. Most have been charging $15 for a one-off purchase, or $6 to rent it.

Related: Startup targets Hollywood with ‘secret messaging’ app

Keen to put a positive spin on events, the movie studio has been highlighting the fact that The Interview is its most successful VOD film of all time. However, the absence of a full theatrical release has had a significant and damaging impact on the studio’s ability to cover the movie’s costs.

Following the well documented circumstances that messed up a regular theatrical release, The Interview, which cost around $44 million to make – plus many millions more if you include marketing costs – has only been showing on a small number of screens across the U.S., generating a meager $5 million in offline takings up to January 4.

While the movie will continue to pull in revenue for some time, sales and rentals have already slowed noticeably in the past week – it took $15 million in its first four days and has taken seven more days to double that. This means it’s likely to be some time before The Interview makes a profit. Such an outcome would’ve been unthinkable before the cyberattack, with the Seth Rogen movie once expected to open at thousands of theaters across the nation and beyond, guaranteeing big box office takings.

Related: DT’s review of The Interview

Sony boss Kazuo Hirai on Monday broke his silence on the Sony Pictures hack, describing it as “one of the most vicious and malicious cyberattacks we have known in recent history.”

He added that “freedom of speech [and] freedom of expression” were “important lifelines of Sony and our entertainment business,” and thanked movie goers for venturing out to theaters to watch the controversial film.

[Via Variety]