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'The Interview' Earns $15 Million in Online Sales

For a film that wasn't expected to see the light of day, The Interview is earning a decent amount of money.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Sony Pictures comedy has earned $15 million from 2 million rentals and online purchases, in addition to a $2.8 million four-day gross from its opening in 331 theaters.

Although the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy was originally planned for release on more than 3,000 screens, a beleaguered Sony — already reeling from the fallout from cyberattacks — was forced to alter its plans when major theater chains balked amid threats of violence from the hackers against cinemas that showed the movie. The Interview depicts a fictional assassination plot against Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea, which the U.S. government claims sponsored the hacks.

It was announced Dec. 23 that 331 independently owned theaters would step into the void left by their larger competitors, with more joining beginning Jan. 1. Sony later struck an 11th-hour deals for the The Interview to be released simultaneously on Christmas on Google-owned YouTube and Google Play and on Microsoft’s Xbox Video. It was also streamed on a Sony website.

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