Update 8:20 p.m. EST: Sony Pictures said Sunday "The Interview" earned more than $15 million in online sales in its first four days of availability. Sony said the movie was "rented or purchased online more than 2 million times" since it was released Wednesday, CNN reported. The figures do not include Sunday sales.
"The Interview" has made its way to iTunes, Recode reported. The controversial comedy, starring Seth Rogan and James Franco, was made available on Google Play, YouTube, Xbox Live and Sony's online store Wednesday. The film also had a limited release in more than 300 theaters Christmas Day.
The comedy, whose plot centers on the assassination of Kim Jong Un, was initially shelved by Sony following threats issued by hackers calling themselves the Guardians of Peace. The group claimed responsibility for a massive hack of Sony Pictures, leading to the leak of emails that included unguarded discussion of numerous celebrities, potential projects and troubled movies at the studio. Sony reversed its decision to pull "The Interview" from theaters last week, agreeing to screen it in 331 theaters beginning Christmas Day. The film made $1 million Thursday alone and continues to screen in theaters across the country.
The movie was no match for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," which earned $54.5 million, or the week's other new releases, "Unbroken" and "Into the Woods," which earned $47.3 million and $46.1 million, respectively, at the holiday box office. "The Interview" earned $2.8 million over the course of four days.
Apple did not release a statement explaining its decision to offer "The Interview" on iTunes beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, simply saying, "We’re pleased to offer 'The Interview’ for rental or purchase on the iTunes store," Recode reported. A report from the New York Times, prior to the film's digital release, indicated Sony reached out to the White House to arrange for the film's release via iTunes. Apple was not interested in releasing the movie in such a rushed timeline but was willing to make the movie available on iTunes.
"The Interview" has been incredibly popular on YouTube. The movie will cost the same price on iTunes, $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own, as on other streaming services.