At the end of November, Sony's movie division IT systems were hacked, allowing the attackers to gain access to internal documents, email messages, passwords, film budgets and spreadsheets that detail executive salaries and social security numbers of thousands of employees, etc.
GOP, the group behind the attack, demanded withdrawing "The Interview" from distribution, threatening to release sensitive information about employees and even physical action against theaters.
Following these threats, AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Carmike and Southern Theatres, and other major theater chains announced that they would delay or cancel it altogether. However, 200 independent theaters are currently showing the movie. It is also available for streaming in Canada and the U.S.
Sony did consider releasing the movie via online platforms, but its limited availability has made it a piracy hit on torrent sites. Even Thepiratebay offers a hash of "The Interview" torrents on its site, which also adds up to hints of a possible return.
Torrentfreak says the data it collected shows the movie has been downloaded some 750,000 times through Bittorrent during the first 20 hours of its availability. Sony probably should have used this opportunity to release the film worldwide to maximize returns, since early reviewers are not so impressed. How many of you want to go see the movie? Would you download it if it were legally free?
Update: According to the same source the movie has been downloaded 1.5 million times.