Apple Inc. (AAPL) iTunes Now Streams ‘The Interview’

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Apple’s iTunes store now offers The Interview from Sony Pictures. This movie has been in the midst of controversy for angering North Korea, following which the studio came under a cyber-attack. According to the website, the movie is available on iTunes for purchase at $14.99 and for rent at $5.99.

Why Apple turned down the offer earlier

Tom Neumayr, an Apple spokesman, said in a statement to Re/code, “We’re pleased to offer The Interview for rental or purchase on the iTunes Store.”

The movie is about the journey of two journalists who are chosen to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un under the guidance of the CIA. On Dec. 24, the movie was first released by Apple’s competitors on their digital video platforms. Four days later, Apple signed to carry the film via video-on-demand.

As per reports released Tuesday, Sony Pictures made an offer to Apple for hosting The Interview on iTunes, which was then turned down by the U.S. firm. The reason for Apple’s rejection was not known for sure, but speculations suggest Sony’s quick timetable was not something the Cupertino-based company was interested in. Also, from Dec. 22 to Dec. 29 of this year, the iTunes Connect holiday freeze ran, and it is very possible the company did not want to disturb it.

A big-budget movie from Sony

The movie was released online by Sony Pictures via Google’s YouTube and Google Play, Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console and by a website dedicated to the film by Sony. The movie was rejected by a large number of movie theater chains after it was opposed by hackers. On Christmas Day, the movie generated sales worth more than $1 million and was shown in more than 331 theaters, most of which were independent ones.

The movie was made by Sony for a whopping budget of $44 million, and recovering the costs will not come easy for the company. The company has not disclosed online revenues, and until then, nothing can be said about the company’s ability to recover the cost. Apart from the direct cost, the movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco had a huge amount spent on its marketing, which cost around $30 million to $40 million.

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