The controversy surrounding Sony Pictures latest release, The Interview (2014), has been nothing short of spectacular considering the global-political ramifications it’s caused between the US and North Korea.
Written and directed by it’s star Seth Rogen, The Interview is a fictitious story about two American journalists who, after landing an unexpected interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, are recruited by the CIA for an assassination mission in the capital Pyongyang.
Since it’s release last week, The Interview, despite being pulled from almost every major US cinema, has managed to gross over $20 million dollars so far, mostly thanks to advancements in legitimate online streaming and download services such as YouTube, Google Play, and Sony’s own streaming service.
The figure for online sales currently stands at just over $18 million (as of 29 Dec ’14), with a further $2 million coming from a limited number of independent cinema’s who, despite the threats made against them by North Korea, decided to go ahead with screenings.
There’s no denying The Interview has become the most publicized film release of all time, due largely in part to the significant hack on Sony’s security systems by North Korea in retaliation for the films existence depicting the assassination of their leader, not to mention the serious threats made against any US cinemas that showed the controversial comedy.
With a $44 million budget, on top of the millions of dollars spent on Marketing, it’s still not clear whether or not the film will turn a profit – one thing is certain though, Hollywood will have to start taking online releases seriously as films continue to push the boundaries of what’s deemed socially and politically acceptable.