“The Interview” may have changed the game for streaming VOD film releases!
The Interview has been one of the most talked about films this year. With it’s on and off again release, the hype surrounding Sony’s controversial film has been escalated far beyond the film’s worth. With a limited theater release, it may have not been a box office success but the streaming service numbers are astonishing.
Sony said the $15 million in revenues comes from both sales and rentals for the first four days of the controversial comedy’s release. In all, Sony said the film had been rented or purchased 2 million times. The film cost $5.99 to stream as a rental, or $14.99 to download and own. Both versions were in HD.
The film also was screened in 331 theaters, bringing in another $2.8 million beginning Christmas Day.
$15 million might not seem like a lot when compared to $50 million box office weekends but given the hurdles for “The Interview’s” release and the first big theatrical streaming release, it’s more than impressive. Theater distribution costs a lot of money so given the cheap cost of storage for streaming, this would make “The Interview” a success for a streaming release.
Earlier this year Netflix was given rights to release St. Vincent for free to certain countries to increase awareness of the film. Given that streaming has the ability to reach a wider audience and (with “The Interview”) has proven to be profitable, this could be the dawn of a new generation. The brick and mortar movie theaters that we know may soon be in the “drive-in” category as they are replaced by the convenience of in home viewing.
While “The Interview” may have been distributed via streaming due to circumstance, many studios have plans for the future of streaming debuts. This film may have been the most recognized but Adam Sandler, David Spade, and possibly others are getting exclusive streaming releases.
It’s arguable whether or not “The Interview’s” controversy was escalated as a marketing scheme but regardless of the fact, it was a success. It has proven that streaming releases can be profitable and theaters may soon be obsolete. If other streaming releases prove to be successful then who knows what our movie going experience will be like in the coming years.
Do you think “The Interview’s” success could be the end of the movie theater?