'The Interview' Illegal Download Numbers Are Crazy

In spite of all the Sony hackers' ongoing efforts to make it appear as if The Interview never existed, it seems like the controversy surrounding the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy may have actually helped to propel the film to the top of holiday wish-lists around the world. The fact that The Interview earned $1 million in box office sales after its Christmas day screening in 311 U.S. theaters isn't exactly shocking, especially considering the overwhelmingly negative reactions to Sony pulling it — in fact, the movie even nabbed the top spot on YouTube Movies, XBox Video and Google Play streaming services, so it's safe to say it's a domestic success. However, based off of this news about the 750,000 illegal downloads of The Interview that occurred within 20 hours of the film being posted online, it appears that the drama surrounding the film may have helped it become an international success as well.

As CBS News reports, according to information gathered from the site Torrentfreak, within the first 10 hours after Sony made The Interview available for streaming strictly for people purchasing the service with a U.S. card or viewing from a U.S. IP address, the movie was illegally downloaded approximately 200,000 times through the file-sharing site BitTorrent. After 20 hours, the number of downloads nearly quadrupled.

Now, this in no way meant to endorse or encourage illegal downloads, which have been outlawed for obvious reasons. However, it is a testament to the insane amount of international interest this film has garnered based off all the uproar it caused, which is pretty astounding and certainly can't be ignored.

Adding to this, it seems that The Interview is even being sold on the North Korean black market for a ridiculous $50 a copy — crazy news, considering the fact that the film's plot about a purported assassination attempt on the country's leader Kim Jong-un was what led to the mass hacking of Sony emails and the 9/11 attack threats that derailed the film's original release.