Entertainment Movies Anti-North Korean film makes millions from controversy
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Anti-North Korean film makes millions from controversy

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Controversial comedy The Interview has scored almost $US15 million in online rentals and purchases, entertainment giant Sony says, following an embarrassing cyberattack and threats.

The low-brow, R-rated comedy featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco revolves around the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

Sony initially cancelled the film’s release after many of the biggest US movie theatre chains got cold feet following threats from hackers who also claimed a cyberattack on Sony Studios.

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The White House has said the attack was orchestrated by North Korea, but Pyongyang has denied any involvement.

In the end, the madcap comedy, which received widespread publicity throughout the episode, played in about 330 independent movie houses that offered to show the film after Sony came under fire for the cancellation.

It was also made available beginning on Wednesday across Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and on a dedicated website, seetheinterview.com

Sony has said the comedy was rented or purchased online more than two million times over four days through Saturday, for a total of more than $US15 million ($A16.23 million).

In addition, The Interview earned an estimated $US1.8 million in theatres over the weekend, adding to the $US1 million it raked in on its Christmas Day limited release, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations.

The Interview however did not land a spot in the North American box office’s weekend top 10 for ticket sales.

Sony still has a long way to go before it recoup the film’s reported $US75 million budget.

Rogen, who also wrote and directed the film, said he was “thrilled” by the response so far.

“I’m so grateful that the movie found its way into theaters, and I’m thrilled that people actually went out and saw it,” he said.

 

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