‘The Interview’ shoots up to $31 million online, but don’t be dazzled

‘The Interview’ shoots up to $31 million online, but don’t be dazzled

‘The Interview’ shoots up to $31 million online, but don’t be dazzled

Written by Bella Dalima

07 Jan, 2015 | 5:04 pm

In terms of pure revenue, The Interview is, without a doubt, one of the most successful video-on-demand releases in history. But don’t let the raw numbers dazzle you.

Sony Pictures Entertainment on Tuesday updated its online sales figures for the cursed comedy, saying it’s now up to $31 million-plus in revenues with more than 4.3 million downloads through Jan. 4. Add that to $5 million in theatrical revenue, and you’re looking at something north of $36 million total so far.

The Interview made $15 million in its first four days on just a handful of platforms, then took an additional week to double that up, despite expanding to cable VOD and other services, which were unwilling to carry it at first for fear of becoming hacking victims.

And really, that’s a pretty standard drop-off for a major Hollywood release in theaters: You get your big chunk that first weekend, about half of that the second weekend, and about half of that again the third weekend. The pattern repeats until ticket sales die out, a process that generally lasts a couple of months, followed by the home-video release.

Roughly a year later, after all theatrical, home-video and syndication deals are tallied, the final result is called the film’s “ultimate,” a figure that very generally speaking should fall between four and six times whatever you got in that first weekend.

But these models only work reliably in a standard theatrical-first situation. The Interview was not that; for reasons that have been documented to death, the film was the first major studio release in history to go straight to VOD.







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