“We are thrilled to offer exclusively the controversial comedy ‘The Interview’ to our U.S. and Canadian members … just thirty days after it debuted in theaters and pay-per-view,” the company said in a statement.
In addition to the high-profile acquisition, Netflix also revealed its first original film will stream and, they expect, roll out to IMAX this summer.
“Our first original feature film ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon II: The Green Destiny,’ is now in post production and will debut on August 26 in all of our markets. We expect to open the film on select IMAX screens the same day as its release on Netflix.”
The news comes on the heels of Sony’s announcement that “The Interview” has made over $40 million in combined revenue from box office, VOD and streaming — after the comedy was forced into an unprecedented release model following the November hack of the studio.
“The Interview” has been rented or purchased online and through cable, satellite and telecom providers more than 5.8 million times. It brought in $15 million online in its opening weekend, and Sony last week added iTunes and several satellite and cable networks to the list of platforms offering the film for rent or purchase.
Netflix’s reveal was contained in a quarterly earnings report released Tuesday, which held more than few bragging points for the company. It added a record 13 million new members across 2014 — with 4.33 million coming aboard in Q4 — seeing its revenue and EPS continue to rise in the process.
For comparison, in 2013, Netflix’s subscriber base had grown by 11.1 million. The streaming and DVD/Blu-ray company (5.8 million get the physical discs) now boasts 57.4 million global members, it said on Tuesday. Netflix forecasts that by the end of 2015, it will have 61.4 million global members.