The Interview makes $15 million in online downloads

DECEMBER 30, 2014

Controversial political comedy, The Interview, has become film company, Sony Picture's, most-downloaded movie of all time, just four days after its release on 24 December. The Interview was downloaded more than two million times as of 27 December, making back a third of its $44 million budget.

The film, about a fictional American plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, had previously been pulled from release over security fears.

It angered North Korea and may have triggered a cyber attack on Sony.

The hack, from a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace, led to the leaking of confidential information including upcoming movie scripts, confidential emails and actors' salaries.

Sony halted the release after unspecified threats of attacks against US cinemas led 80% of them to decide against screening it.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) later said its investigation into the hacking attack pointed the finger at North Korea. The country denied involvement, but described the hack as a "righteous deed".

Sony said in a statement on Sunday that the movie was made available in the US and Canada through Google services YouTube and Play, Microsoft's Xbox Video and its dedicated website in HD versions for 48-hour rental at $5.99 and for purchase at $14.99.

It made $15 million in its first three days on sale.

There was also a "strong turnout" for the movie's limited independent theatre release after the major chains backed out.

Sony's move to cancel the film's release had garnered criticism in the US including from President Barack Obama, who said it meant freedom of expression was under threat.