After being made available online just before Christmas, with Microsoft and Google both listing it in their digital content stores, Sony’s controversial comedy The Interview has become a top hit movie on illegal file-sharing sites, Torrent Freak reports.
The movie can be purchased or rented from either Microsoft or Google, with select cinemas also playing it. But The Interview is also available for illegal download, with torrent sites quickly listing the title as soon as it became available on official channels.
Initial data collected by Torrent Freak revealed that The Interview was downloaded an estimated 200,000 times through BitTorrent in the first 10 hours. Even more interestingly, after 20 hours, the number of downloads exceeded 750,000. Furthermore, the number of active shares was at some point close to 100,000, according to the publication.
It appears that many downloads originated from outside the U.S., where the movie isn’t available yet. Even The Pirate Bay placed the hash of one of The Interview’s torrents on its website — the popular torrent resource has yet to restore its service.
Sony suffered a massive hack in late November, likely because of the movie, with the people responsible for it also sending various other threats related to The Interview, ultimately convincing the studio to cancel its planned Christmas Day launch. Sony’s defensive reaction was heavily criticized by big names in the movie industry, and also by President Obama, who deemed it a “mistake.”
Ultimately, Sony changed its mind and decided to go ahead with the film’s release online and in theaters.