It’s hard to imagine a world where political comedy, The Interview, might once have been valued on its own merit. The mass hack on Sony, which resulted in the studio pulling the movie from its original Christmas Day release, caused major waves across the entire industry. The largest casualty – or winner, depending on how you look at it – was undoubtedly the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy. Yanked out of multiplexes across the globe, its fate dangled in limbo for days after cyber terrorists threatened violence upon any movie theater that dared screen it.
Then Sony woke up, took a deep whiff of the proverbial coffee, and just said no. Not long after, approximately 300 indie theaters across the US stepped up to release it, along with multiple VOD platforms who similarly offered to stream it. While it wasn’t the big, showy opening Sony had in mind, it was better than failing to recoup any of the budget whatsoever.
It turns out that the film did pretty well, too. While it suffered from not having a widespread theatrical release, its two main competitors on Dec. 25th – Into The Woods and Unbroken – only brought in $30 million each. And, neither of those awards-bait titles beat The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies to the number one spot.
The Interview, meanwhile, brought in $18 million in total – $15 million from VOD and the remaining $3 million from theaters. According to BoxOffice.com, they estimate that if the film had been released without a hitch, it would have probably grossed $20 million theatrically. Whatever numbers these guesses might conjure up, it’s all just speculation now as we’ll never truly know what fate had in store for The Interview prior to the hack.