“We’re pleased to offer The Interview for rental or purchase on the iTunes Store,” Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said in a statement. The movie rents for $5.99 or can be purchased for $14.99 on iTunes, both in HD.
The prices are generally similar to those charged for the film on other digital sites, such as YouTube Movies, Google Play Store and Microsoft’s Xbox Live, as well as SeeTheInterview.com, a stand-alone website set up by Sony with a digital-distribution company called Kernel. Those sites began carrying the film, at the heart of a massive cyber attack and geo-political intrigue with North Korea over the past month, on Christmas Eve.
The gross-out comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen also has been released in 331 theaters, beginning Christmas Day, after an initial wide release was cancelled the previous week. The theatrical release has grossed an estimated $2.8 million over the four-day holiday weekend, appearing in mostly art-house and smaller chains as few as one screening a day.
TheVerge.com cited an internal Apple source who blamed the film’s slow iTunes rollout on “logistical” issues, possibly caused by the short turnaround between Sony’s decision to launch the film online and when it actually hit.
Sony’s own PlayStation Network, which runs on its videogame consoles and handheld devices, has said it will carry the film beginning next week, rather than disrupt on very short notice its own holiday-week site plans.