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It looks as though any publicity is good publicity. Following the controversial decision by Sony to pull the infamous Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy, The Interview, from it’s initial Christmas Day wide release and switch to a limited release run in independent-owned theater chains, along with a VOD release through Google Play and YouTube streaming platforms, the movie can now claim a record for 2014.
According to Variety, in six days, The Interview has become 2014’s bestseller on a pair of Google streaming sites — Google Play and YouTube Movies — according to a Google spokesperson.
The controversial Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy was still listed as the top current download as of Monday on YouTube Movies and the second-highest on Google Play behind Guardians of the Galaxy.
The studio began streaming The Interview on Christmas Eve through the sites along with Microsoft’s Xbox Video and its own dedicated site, http://www.seetheinterview.com, for $5.99 or $14.99 for an HD version. Apple’s iTunes site came on board on Sunday.
The movie began showing at 331 independent theaters on Christmas Day and grossed $2.8 million its first four days.
Sony announced Sunday that the movie had grossed $15 million online in its first four days and that it was rented or downloaded more than 2 million times. The revenues exceed those of recent VOD successes such as Snowpiercer, which earned $7 million on demand; Arbitrage ($14 million); and Bachelorette ($8.2 million).
It appears that Sony’s decision to have the movie available through streaming services paid off big time and allowed the studio to temper some of the heat it’s been receiving lately.