Sony's The Interview has already made $36m but may still cost studio money

Joe Hall
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Sony is yet to make its money back from The Interview. (Source: Getty)
The Interview may be Sony Pictures Entertainment’s highest-grossing online film of all time, yet it looks likely the embattled studio will end up losing money on the controversial comedy.
The film, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, has so far made $31m (£20.48m) from online sales and a further $5m from a limited theatrical release.
Available on a number of digital and on-demand services such as Google Play, Xbox Video, Amazon Instant Video, the PlayStation Store and Sony’s own Video Unlimited, the film costs $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy outright.
But reports suggest it cost around $75m to produce and market, meaning Sony will struggle to make money from the film.
Following its release on 24 December, The Interview made $15m in its first four days of online sales. However, having made just $16m in the days since, appetite seems to be dying down.
Sony had initially cancelled all distribution of the film, which features Franco and Rogen as CIA agents sent to assassinate North Korean Kim Jong Un, after major cinema chains in the US refused to show it following a threat made by hackers to attack those that did.
The US government has blamed North Korea for the devastating cyber attack into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s systems that exposed company secrets and sensitive correspondences to the world.
The Interview was eventually released in 331 independent US cinemas on 25 December and a further 558 a week later.
Variety reports Sony had originally planned to release the film across 3,000 screens.
Estimates that take into account the box office clout of its two stars and the performance of films during “the holiday season” suggest the film could have reasonably been expected to recoup around $100m from the box office.

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