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N.Korea comedy becomes Sony all-time online hit

Sony Pictures has been thrown into damage control mode by the unflattering leaks/AFP

Sony Pictures has been thrown into damage control mode by the unflattering leaks/AFP

Controversial North Korea satire “The Interview” has made over $31 million on the Internet and other small-screen formats, Sony’s best-grossing online film ever, the studio said Tuesday.

Including box office takings the movie has made some $36 million, approaching its reported $44 million budget, according to the Hollywood studio.

“The Interview,” which triggered a hacking attack on Sony Pictures blamed by US authorities on Pyongyang, has been rented or bought online and through cable, satellite, and telecom providers more than 4.3 million times, it said.

That makes it the studio’s number one online film of all time, it said, announcing updated figures from December 24 through to January 4.

The figures do not include earnings from some 580 theaters which have screened the movie. Box office takings there total some $5 million so far, a Sony Pictures statement said.

Sony Pictures initially resisted demands by hackers that it cancel the film’s planned December 25 release date. But it gave in the week before Christmas, before changing its mind again and releasing it from December 24.

Online the movie is available via Google Play; YouTube Movies; Microsoft’s Xbox Video; iTunes; VUDU, Walmart’s digital VOD service; PlayStation Network; Amazon Instant Video; and through a dedicated website.

The film, which tells the story of a fictitious CIA plot to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, is also available with leading US cable, satellite, and telecom providers’ video-on-demand (VOD) services.

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