DVDs and Blu-rays are still available for those who like them, but watching movies online, be it on a streaming service or buying a digital copy for yourself, is easier than ever. One of the many places to find flicks is Google Play, but you may be surprised to learn that the service's top-selling movie isn't a major blockbuster from recent years or even a cinematic classic that's been enjoyed for decades. It's The Interview, the 2014 comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that never saw a wide theatrical release.
According to Variety, The Interview still ranks as Google Play's most sold movie, outperforming recent hits like Frozen, Deadpool and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the quality of The Interview compared to those other movies is definitely up for debate, its digital success is yet another win for how the movie has been received online ever since the wide theatrical release was cancelled in December 2014 after threats were sent out by hackers allegedly connected to North Korea. The Interview's prestigious ranking on Google Play was part of a data drop that was released today that revealed some of the series best-selling products, which included Adele's "25" as the top album, Fifty Shades of Grey as the top book and Facebook as the top app.
Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, The Interview followed James Franco's Dave Skylark and Rogen's Aaron Rapaport, a talks show host and producer, respectively, who manage to arrange an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, who is a fan of the Skylark Tonight show. The two of them are then tasked by the CIA to use this opportunity to assassinate Kim. Had this movie taken place in a different country, The Interview would have gone down in the movie history as just another Rogen/Franco outing that filled their brand of absurd comedy. In fact, looking just at critical reception, The Interview earned mixed reviews, and ranks at 51% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, thanks to the controversy over its theatrical release and how Sony opted to put it out digitally instead, it will forever mark an unusual period in Hollywood. The insanity surrounding the movie also included the infamous Sony hack in November 2014, which leaked information not just about upcoming projects, but emails and personal information connected to studio employees, their families and celebrities in contact with Sony at the time.
Despite all the controversy surrounding The Interview years back, this Google Play ranking shows that the movie is still striking back with its own unique success. Besides Google Play, The Interview is available for purchase on YouTube, iTunes and Xbox Live. For a while the movie was also available to stream on Netflix, but it was taken down last October, though you can still rent it through the company's DVD service.