“Sony Pictures said ‘The Interview’ has earned more than $15 million in online sales and another $2.8 million in theaters, an impressive return made possible by the publicity surrounding the cyberattack blamed on North Korea,” Liana B. Baker and Mary Milliken report for Reuters.
“The studio said on Sunday the film had been purchased or rented online more than 2 million times on the four days through Saturday, making it Sony Pictures’ No. 1 online movie of all time,” Baker and Milliken report. “‘That is a huge number,’ said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations. ‘This is almost what it was going to do theatrically before it was pulled. It made about what people expected, but in a completely different way.’ The $44 million film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco had been expected to gross at least $20 million in its opening holiday weekend if it had gone to wide release, according to Boxoffice.com.”
“It was still unclear whether Sony, which is still struggling with the impact of the cyberattack, would recoup the money it spent to make the film and the $30 million or $40 million in estimated marketing costs,” Baker and Milliken report. “But in a sign of the film’s power and place in the cultural debate, Apple Inc. said on Sunday it plans to carry the movie for rental and purchase on iTunes, the biggest and most-popular online content store. ‘The Apple component will be significant,’ said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at tracking firm Rentrak. ‘I’ve heard anecdotes of people who have never downloaded a movie on iTunes doing that for this movie.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iTunes Store should’ve had The Interview available immediately upon its release, but once again we’re stuck repeating what is becoming Apple’s unfortunate mantra under Tim Cook: Better late than never*.
Major mistake [not offering “The Interview” on opening day] – unless Apple wants to continue to ignore Apple TV. This is free promotion! Apple should stand up for artists’ freedom of expression. They should be pouncing on this. Hopefully, their disinterest is only being feigned as a negotiating tactic. Do it, Apple. What are you going to lose, the vibrant North Korea market? – MacDailyNews, December 24, 2014
Pulling the trigger is good. Pulling the trigger in a timely fashion is better.
*iMacs (late 2012, really early 2013), new Mac Pro, properly-sized iPhone displays, Apple Watch, MacBook Air with Retina display, Apple TV, music subscription service, etc.
Apple’s iTunes Store sits out Sony’s release of ‘The Interview’ – December 26, 2014
Sony Pictures to distribute “The Interview” online beginning Christmas Eve via Apple TV, dedicated website, Google Play, YouTube, and more – December 24, 2014
Will Apple put Sony’s ‘The Interview’ on Apple TV for Christmas? – December 24, 2014