On a weekend where both Unbroken and Into the Woods grossed over $30 million, and still lost to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (which made $41 million this weekend), I don’t know how The Interview would have fared as a standard theatrical release. Boxoffice.com [via Yahoo!] estimates that the $44 million film would have grossed $20 million. But cyberterrorist threats against movie theaters ultimately led the picture to indie cinemas and VOD, and The Interview ended up scoring $18 million with $15 million of that coming from VOD sales. VOD numbers aren’t usually released, but it would look suspicious if that part the gross was kept secret since this film has such a high profile. And really, there would be no reason to keep it secret since The Interview was virtually guaranteed to be the highest grossing VOD release from the studio thanks to all of the controversy. Additionally, Yahoo! reports that the opening total will be even higher once iTunes’ revenue is added (Apple didn’t carry the movie until Sunday).
It will be interesting to see how much The Interview grosses and if it will ever end up in major theater chains. But no matter the outcome, please don’t be one of those people who think that all of this was a viral marketing campaign. Those people sound silly.