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After its controversial pull from theaters just a couple weeks ago, The Interview has become one of the most talked about films of the year. Soon after the backlash from the pull, celebrities, writers, actors, and even the President put their two cents in about Sony’s decision, and the film was given a limited release in theaters, as well as downloadable on digital platforms such as Google Play and Youtube. And now, The Interview is about to get an even wider aperture. Sony has reached agreements with many big U.S. cable and satellite providers to distribute the film via pay-per-view and video-on-demand services.
The decision has surely come from the popularity of the film. And while it may not be a five star feature, it has been the center of the media since the cyber threats against it. And everybody loves a good scandal. Even now, as word has come out that North Korea may not in fact be to blame for the hacking, people still want to see what all the hype was about. Could Kim Jong-Un really feel threatened by the silly James Franco and Seth Rogen flick? What is all the hype about? Is it actually funny?
According to Yahoo! Sony is working with the top U.S. TV, cable, and satellite providers such as Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Bright House Networks (InDemand), DirecTV, Verizon FiOS TV, Charter Communications, Cablevision and AT&T U-verse TV. And not only will it be reaching those with cable or satellites, but also it just become available on Vudu, Walmart’s digital VOD service, and Sony’s PlayStation Network on January 1.
The VOD services have been seriously taking off. The studio announced that they had made $15 million in revenue in just four days after the digital release on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox video and Sony’s website, SeetheInterview.com. According to Google, in about a week, The Interview became the number one best selling movie on Google Play and Youtube Movies. On Christmas day, when the film was first scheduled to release, 331 select theaters showed the film, and as of Friday, January 2nd, that number will increase to 580.
The viewership is growing wider and wider. There has even been talks of teaming up with Netflix to stream the film, but Sony is already generating so much money from the VOD platforms that they are probably just going to let that money flow in for a while beforehand. The new pay-per-view services that will be showing up on the previously mentioned cable and satellite networks will start at $5.99 and customers of Vudu and Verizon have the option to buy a digital version of the film along with the rental.