Despite $15M Online Haul, ‘The Interview’ Doesn’t Pay Off: Review

by Jay Tilles

With all the hype surrounding The Interview, many who’ve not yet seen the comedy wonder, is it worth spending $5.99 on a download or making the trek to a local art house theater to see the film that spawned so much controversy?

First, let’s hit the numbers.

The Interview was rented or purchased online more than 2 million times, raking in over $15 million through Saturday, reports CBS News. Having shown at 331 independent theaters beginning Christmas Day, the film grossed an nearly 2.8 million after the holiday weekend.

According to TorrentFreak, which keeps an eye on files shared using BitTorrent technology, The Interview was downloaded an estimated 200,000 times during the first 10 hours online. That number grew to more than 1.5 million after just two days on the net.

Related: 5 Spoilers from The Interview

So, the answer is yes, people are seeing the film, but are they pleased by what they see? Is it the protest movie they had built it up to be? The verdict is in and the answer appears to be a resounding no.

Reporting for CBS San Francisco outside the Rialto Theater in Berkeley, CA, Jeffrey Schaub spoke to one couple who about summed it up. “The truth—my wife is the one who wanted to come for freedom of speech. I joked it was freedom to watch a bad movie. It was not a great movie but it was funny.”

See what the film critics had to say on


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