The company reported today (Jan. 20) that the film has grossed more than $40 million from digital downloading.
In contrast, the film earned $6 million from a limited theatrical release.
The film has been offered on such platforms as Google Play, iTunes and through Time Warner Cable, a more traditional source for pay-per-view sales.
In all, the film has been downloaded 5.8 million times, the studio said, marking a “significant milestone” for its online and pay television efforts.
Ironically, Sony hashed together its digital distribution plan after it pulled the plug on releasing the movie to theaters. The move came in the face of murky threats of violence from a group called “Guardians of Peace.”
The move drew widespread criticism from the media, Hollywood celebrities and even President Obama, who called it a blow against freedom of expression.
The group had released thousands of internal emails, financial records, employee salaries and other sensitive information onto the Internet before resorting to threats. No violence was reported.
The FBI traced the cyber attack to North Korea through digital fingerprinting, Internet addresses known to be used by the government there and other means.
It’s conclusions, however, have been disputed; some claim it was an inside job. North Korea has also denied launching the attack, although it likened the film to an act of war.
The picture, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, is about two newsmen who land a rare interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. They’re recruited by the CIA to assassinate Kim.
The movie charts a hilarious series of mishaps that ends with the Korean dictator dying in a fiery crash. His head literally explodes at the end of the movie.
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