Sony's The Interview was pirated online almost as much as it was purchased.

The Interview Was Pirated About As Much As It Was Purchased

The Interview Was Pirated About As Much As It Was Purchased

Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web
Dec. 29 2014 12:52 PM

The Interview Was Pirated About As Much As It Was Purchased

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Sony made it way too easy to download a version ofThe Interview without any privacy safeguards.

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

This article originally appeared in Business Insider.

Sony announced Sunday that The Interview was purchased or rented online over 2 million times since it premiered Dec. 24. It also generated over $15 million in revenue from those online sales. But while Sony trumpeted the release as its most successful online movie ever, The Interview has also been pirated a lot. According to Torrent Freak, which tracks downloads from file-sharing sites, The Interview was pirated about 1.5 million times in the first two days.

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Part of the reason could be because Sony made it way too easy to download a version of the movie that didn't have any piracy safeguards. As The Verge and others reported, if you rented The Interview for $5.99 from Sony's site SeeTheInterview.com, you could share the URL and anyone could stream it without paying extra.

And viewers could simply right-click on the video to save a version without privacy safeguards called DRM. Those files were quickly added to file-sharing sites.

The Interview was also shown in a little over 300 independent theaters in the US, and brought in about $3 million in box office sales. All together, The Interview generated about $18 million in sales in its first weekend.

That doesn't make the movie a success, though. The major theater chains still refuse to show The Interview following threats from a hacker group called Guardians of Peace (GOP), which the FBI says has ties to North Korea. (The Interview portrays the assassination of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.)

The movie cost about $45 million to make, and some have estimated the total cost to Sony was about $100 million if you factor in marketing and other expenses.