'The Interview' lands on iTunes as Sony's best-selling online movie ever

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2015
Apple has agreed to start streaming and download sales of Sony Pictures' controversial comedy "The Interview" starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, making the straight-to-online film available to iTunes customers in the U.S. and Canada.




Less than a week after Apple declined an exclusive offer to carry "The Interview" on Christmas Day, at the time citing an overly aggressive release schedule, iTunes started streaming the vulgar comedy on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, reports Re/code.

"We're pleased to offer 'The Interview' for rental or purchase on the iTunes store," Apple said in a statement.

It appears the film didn't need Apple's huge iTunes audience to notch a record launch, as platforms like YouTube, Google Play, Xbox and Sony subsidiary Crackle raked in $15 million on two million downloads and rentals since Wednesday. "The Interview" is now Sony's best-selling online movie ever. Sources claim a "vast majority" of revenue came from Google's YouTube and Google Play storefront.

Online sales easily beat the film's limited theatrical release, which has so far brought in an estimated $2.8 million.

In the weeks leading up to its release, "The Interview" was dismissed by critics as an ill-conceived comedy starring Rogen and Franco, who previously teamed up in "This Is the End" and "Pineapple Express." The movie's plot revolves around a celebrity tabloid show host (Franco) and his producer (Rogen), who are asked to document an expos? on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The CIA gets wind of the meeting and recruits the pair to assassinate Kim. Comedy ensues.

Sony Pictures Entertainment servers were attacked earlier this month by hackers operating under the guise "Guardians of Peace," who gained access to and subsequently leaked to the Internet a great deal of personal correspondence, passwords and other sensitive materials. Although no solid evidence has emerged regarding the group's origins, the FBI believes the attack came from within North Korea, possibly initiated by DPRK officials who took umbrage with Sony's parody.

Sony's hack sparked a groundswell of interest for "The Interview" and the movie quickly became a must-see for many, if only for novelty value. Hackers demanded Sony cancel the film and threatened physical terrorist attacks against theaters showing the film in the U.S., which ultimately forced Sony to pull the plug on a wide release. The company later reversed its decision, however, simultaneously releasing the movie online and in select theaters.

Sony's "The Interview" is available to rent for $5.99 or purchase for $14.99 on iTunes.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member

    Smart quick reversal by Apple. It's a shame that YouTube got airtime as being a place to watch real movies. 

  • Reply 2 of 67
    jakeb wrote: »
    Smart quick reversal by Apple. It's a shame that YouTube got airtime as being a place to watch real movies. 

    As others have pointed out, Apple was probably honoring thier iTunes Connect holiday freeze period. Hopefully we can stop hearing about this movie now.
  • Reply 3 of 67
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    I haven't seen this movie, but I saw some of the commercials, and it looks awful. It doesn't even seem funny. 

     

    It's a shame that such an awful movie would become a top selling online movie, just because of the news surrounding the movie, and not based on the merits of the movie itself.

  • Reply 4 of 67
    This smells like a publicity stunt.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    *rolleyes*

    Such a non-event.

    But whaddyagonnado...
  • Reply 6 of 67
    jakeb wrote: »
    Smart quick reversal by Apple. It's a shame that YouTube got airtime as being a place to watch real movies. 

    I disagree.

    Sony a nd the U.S. press turned this hack into an attack on freedom of speech. This was lie that has grown out of proportion just as many other things grew out of proportion to gain eyeballs.

    Sony screwed up its own computer security that enabled hackers to gain access to terabytes of sensitive information. This has been reported and for some reason Sony is getting a free pass by the press and by supposed supporters of freedom of speech.

    Thanks to upcoming lawsuits, any profits gained from this this silly movie, will be paid to the people harmed by the publication of the information.

    Somehow this fiasco morphed into an attack on free speech. Then Apple was pulled into the disaster to help Sony show that freedom of speech would be suppressed. All the while It was never reported Sony would distribute its own movie on its own networks to protect freedom of speech.

    No, Sony wanted Apple to be the symbol of freedom of speech. Why Apple instead of itself? Why was President Obama asked to help Sony push Apple to release the movie on iTunes while still not getting the movie distributed on Crackle and PSN. Not until Apple declined the movie did it become known that Googlr Play, You Tube and Microsoft Xbox decided to distribute the movie.

    Was this movie TRULY an attack on freedom of speech or a MAJOR manipulation of US citizens' beliefs that we can say and do much because we are protected by a rapid eroding of our constitutional rights?

    Publications quickly jumped to discussing simultaneous releases of future movies thanks to this movie? Really? Freedom of speech was supposed to be the end all, be all theme of the release of the movie?

    Sony has earned $15 million from the movie since Wednesday. The movie $40 million. Not bad for a movie that most likely would have died without the hack.

    I am looking forward to more hackers hacking Sony to prove that it lied from the beginning about of this. Expert security analysts are disagreeing with the FBI that North Korea was behind the hacks. Also, the publicizing the U.S. government reached out to China for help discovering the TRUE culprits of the hack laid not go and remain viral. That part of this drama died quickly.

    Now Apple has decided to release the movie on iTunes and publications are writing, "better late than never." Which part of this Sony disaster was an attack on the United States? It has always been an attack on Sony. An attack that could have been prevented IF Sony had actually done the work to protect its computer systems.

    This country has been masterfully manipulated with half truths to outright lies.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post



    The movie $40 million. Not bad for a movie that most likely would have died without the hack.

     

    I agree with you. I mock all of the people who went out and spent their money to watch this movie in the name of "freedom of speech". What a bunch of ignoramuses. And in addition to that $40 million, there's also tens of millions in promotion spent, so the overall figure is much higher of course.

  • Reply 8 of 67
    Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

    Smart quick reversal by Apple.



    THERE WAS NO “REVERSAL”. The iTunes Connect holiday is over.

  • Reply 9 of 67
    Seriously, how did a movie with such a controversial plot get green lit by Sony. I said this before and I'll say it again. There are liaisons from Washington working in Hollywood to get certain movies with a political slant made.
  • Reply 10 of 67
    apple ][ wrote: »

    Hopefully somebody will make and release an Obama assassination movie soon. I would pay $5.99 to watch that movie.

    Please stop sharing your Tea Party wet dream fantasies in public. It's disgusting.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    Please stop sharing your Tea Party wet dream fantasies in public. It's disgusting.



    Don't you and other hypocrites believe in freedom of speech anymore? How ironic.

     

    Why shouldn't there be an Obama assassination movie? There was a Bush movie I recall.

  • Reply 12 of 67

    I heard the movie sucked from a couple of friends, I wouldn't waste the bandwidth. I too hope The Interview is not talked about any more.

  • Reply 13 of 67
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leavingthebigG View Post





    I disagree.

    (…)

    This country has been masterfully manipulated with half truths to outright lies.

    I'm not going to offer any conspiracy theories but I agree 110% that something smells really bad about this whole Sony Entertainment hackgate thing.

     

    Do we even know why and who caused N. Korea's Internet to go down, yet? Just bizarre.

  • Reply 14 of 67

    THERE WAS NO “REVERSAL”. The iTunes Connect holiday is over.

    I'm not seeing the "connection" between iTunes Store movies and iTunes Connect, which I thought only dealt with App Store apps.

    I'd think TV shows, movies and music would be independent, with the only real connection being that Apple HQ is pretyy much closed for Christmas.
  • Reply 15 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,706member

    The original ‘story’ that Apple nixed the movie on iTunes was a FUCKING RUMOR. It was NEVER confirmed. Neither Sony, nor Apple, nor the White House offered confirmation. It was a RUMOR ginned up by click-baiters. Read the story right here on AI. Nowhere does it say anything about the ‘story’ being confirmed. It was all innuendo, speculation, and ‘sources.’ It was total BULLSHIT.

     

    From the AI article: “Citing people familiar with the matter, it was said...” Wow, that’s hard fact isn’t it. Unamed sources, yeah, that’s the ticket.

     

    And you took it as gospel.

  • Reply 16 of 67
    I watched the movie and I'm glad I didn't pay. It's on par with Team America. Some funny parts, but overall a pretty dopey movie. I think Americans should be more upset with their portrayal than North Korea. More and more I think this whole thing was a publicity stunt.
  • Reply 17 of 67

    THERE WAS NO “REVERSAL”. The iTunes Connect holiday is over.
    Really?

    December 8, 2014
    As a reminder, iTunes Connect will shut down December 22-29 for the winter holidays. If you plan to schedule app releases or price changes to take place during this time, make sure these changes are scheduled, submitted, and approved by December 18. Users who are currently testing or have been invited to test your pre-release apps with TestFlight will not be affected. Sales and Trends reports will also remain available through the Autoingestion tool.

    https://developer.apple.com/news/
  • Reply 18 of 67
    Originally Posted by runbuh View Post

    iTunes Connect will shut down December 22-29…

     

    Yep. Really.

  • Reply 19 of 67
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Hopefully somebody will make and release an Obama assassination movie soon.

     

    Stop this.  I'm normally amused by your comments, but not by this one.  You're entitled to your opinions, but not entitled to vent political bile that is unrelated to Apple's business.  Were I a mod of this forum, I would ban you temporarily for this inappropriate comment.

  • Reply 20 of 67
    Yep. Really.

    If iTunes Connect being shut down from December 22-29 wouldn't we then not expect it until, at least, the 29th? Being the 28th and a Sunday would indicate that there are clearly Apple staff working on this and likely having worked on this for at least an additional day.
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