The Interview is a hit with pirates. The now-infamous Sony Pictures comedy has already been illegally downloaded over 750,000 times in its first 20 hours of release, file-sharing news website TorrentFreak told Breitbart News Thursday morning.
The film began popping up on illegal downloading sites about an hour after its 1 pm Eastern release on YouTube, XBox, Google Play, and other online avenues on Christmas Day. However, only U.S. residents could watch the film through those online outlets, leaving many international users out of luck.
That’s where the pirating comes in. Many commenters on the torrent’s download page indicated that they would have paid to see the film, had they been given the opportunity.
“I want to pay to see it,” wrote one commenter. “But as I’m not in the US, I can’t pay to see it or see it from where I live. It’s not even out in the cinemas where I live and probably will not be. So torrent is the only way I can see it.”
Even the torrent site The Pirate Bay, considered the largest in the world, included a link to the film on the top left corner of its site, despite the site having been down for weeks after a raid by Swedish police crippled its servers.
“It’s definitely a high-profile release, and there are a lot of downloads already,” TorrentFreak told Breitbart News in an email.
Variety film reporter Dave McNary predicted the film could earn as much as $3 million in limited release, a drop in the bucket for the film’s reported $40 million budget but a significant feat for a film opening in about 300 theaters. McNary attributes the strong projected showing to a film “coming into the market with a consumer awareness unmatched in recent history.”
When asked if the film could potentially be the most torrented film ever, TorrentFreak said it was “unlikely.”
“There are blockbusters that get many more downloads during the first hours, so it seems unlikely that this will become the most torrented movie.”