'The Interview' Has Grossed $31 Million On VOD, Will Get Wide UK And Ireland Release

Update: Sony will release The Interview in the UK and Ireland on February 6. We don't have info on or even an indication of further international dates at this time.

While it's a far cry from the $100m that some had expected The Interview to make in a theatrical release, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's comedy has pulled in over $30m on VOD after being available online since December 24. Sony is spinning the numbers well, calling The Interview the studio's "#1 online film of all time."

Deadline reported the numbers, and the $31 million figure is indeed impressive. (And the numbers make me wonder how much has been pulled in digitally by other big Sony releases, such as Skyfall.) The combination of the vacation week, the furor over the film, and the immediacy of the digital offering all likely helped The Interview reach that digital total.

While the political echoes of the film may still be big as the US imposes sanctions against North Korea for the Sony hack that may (or may not) have come out of the country, one of the big ramifications of the film's release may be a shift, even if slight, in the way that studios do business online and with VOD.

Earnings from VOD are only just started to be reported now — I've talked to filmmakers who say they don't even know precisely what their movies have made On Demand and digitally, thanks to obscure accounting and reporting. So even a push to get VOD numbers out on a regular basis would be a big deal. And if someone else tops The Interview's take, you can bet that will be reported quickly.

Pulled from general release just days before its planned opening, The Interview ended up playing in a few hundred theaters during Christmas week. But it also went online on December 24, with outlets including Apple's iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, Microsoft's Xbox network, and Sony's own SeeTheInterview.com portal (though not, notably, Sony's PlayStation Network) offering the film as a $5.99 rental or $14.99 digital purchase.