“The Interview” is Sony’s most successful online film

Since the rumors of its mere ideation, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview has been the focus of major media attention. Links to cyberterrorist counteractions by North Korea – the country of consideration in this dark comedy – did little to deter Sony from petitioning online platforms such as Google Play and YouTube.

It seems the gamble has, literally, paid off though, as the controversial film has reportedly generated over $15 million USD in online rentals and purchases since its debut just days ago – making it Sony’s most successful online film ever. Drawn from 2 million customers, it seems as if the global audience, which could have well ignored The Interview, has instead fearlessly supported the film in the face of consequence.

If you haven’t already, rent the film here.


‘The Interview’ is already Sony’s most popular online movie to date

The Interview


There was a ton of hoopla about Sony releasing The Interview through internet services before it even hit theaters, but how much did this not-entirely-intentional experiment in online distribution pan out? Quite well, if you ask Sony. It just revealed that the movie racked up $15 million in digital rentals and sales (spread across 2 million customers) between its Wednesday release and Saturday, making the North Korea-themed comedy the studio’s “#1 online film of all time” within a matter of days. The company isn’t breaking down numbers by service, but Recode‘s sources claim that the “vast majority” of business came from Google Play and YouTube. Sorry, Xbox Video.

The figures also mean that The Interview earned more online than it did in theaters (currently estimated at $3 million), although that’s not hard. The theatrical release was limited to a relatively small batch of independent movie houses rather than the thousands of locations run by major chains like AMC — for many people, internet viewing was the onlyway to see what all the fuss was about. You’re probably not going to see Sony repeating this launch strategy any time soon, then, but it at least shows that the media giant is salvaging something out of the hacking drama from the past few weeks.

“Flappy Bird” creator Dong Nguyen returns with “Swing Copters”


After raking in more than $50,000 USD a day in revenue thanks to its in-game advertising, Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen is back with his latest addictive mobile game: Swing Copters. Ditching the side-scrolling format of his previous creation in favor of verticality, the new game once again makes use of decidedly retro graphics and sees players navigating a propellor hat-wearing character through a series of deadly swings.

Simply described with the line “Flying with a propeller hat is not as easy as it looks,” Swing Copters is now available to download via iTunes and Google Play, free of charge.


Flappy Bird’s creator says he pulled the app for your own good


If you were hoping Flappy Bird would find its wings and fly back onto the App Store or Google Play, its creator has some tough news for you. Less than 48 hours after he pulled the explosively popular game, developer Dong Nguyen briefly emerged from his self-imposed exile to talk to Forbes about why that little bird will flap no more.

According to Nguyen, the game was designed to help people relax, let players blow off some steam when they had a spare few minutes. Instead, Flappy Bird became an “addictive product” that was causing him, and its players, issues. Nguyen became the subject of intense media scrutiny, while players became enraged by their tragically low scores.

To solve that problem, it’s best to take down Flappy Bird. It’s gone forever,” he told Forbes, shortly after he’d had an impromptu sit down with Vietnam‘s deputy prime minister.

Since it disappeared, owners of the app have put their phones and tablets up for bidding on eBay, with prices reaching $1,000 for an iPhone with the app pre-installed. Despite its popularity, and reports that Flappy Bird was reportedly making $50,000 a day in ad revenue, Nguyen says he has no regrets: “I don’t think it’s a mistake,” he said. “I have thought it through.”

If you didn’t manage to grab the app before it was pulled, there’s no shortage of Flappy clones on the App Store or Google Play — just in case you need a Flappy Angry Bird fix.

Check out this link:

Flappy Bird’s creator says he pulled the app for your own good


Android TV at CES 2014 highlighted by Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL


The project formerly known as Google TV has a limited presence on the CES show floor in 2014. While a number of companies are still working up Android-powered boxes and dongles, the largest TV manufacturers we saw on the floor promoting it were Hisense and TCL.

Both are showing off skinned versions of Android TV with Google Play, which look different, but offer similar features like gesture and voice control. Hisense was also showing a new version of its Pulse add-on box, which sports some very Chromecast-like video sharing features. Announced in December, Pulse Pro will ship later this year with Android 4.2.2 and brings a new remote with an integrated microphone for voice control. Hisense’s Android TVs include its Ultra HD H9 and H8 line

While other manufacturers focus on their homegrown smart TV platforms, it appears Google is doing battle by opening up the services and apps it developed for Google TV to the companies interested in using Android. We’ll see if this looser approach helps its reach any, or if Google has any major surprises up its sleeve in 2014, like that Nexus TV box that has been rumored.

Check out this link:

Android TV at CES 2014 highlighted by Chinese manufacturers Hisense and TCL


Ex-Android VP brings Chinese Xiaomi brand ahead of Samsung smartphones and Apple App Store and Google Play


Xiaomi, the break-out smartphone star of the Greater China market, is receiving lots of attention thanks to the somewhat salacious tale of ex-Android VP Hugo Barra and his recent move to the Chinese company. Xiaomi is looking to sell around 20 million smartphones by the end of 2013, and is doing so well that it’s challenging Samsung, a formerly dominant force, at home in China. The company sees tight margins on hardware – intentionally – but it might have another ace up its sleeve in terms of appealing to potential international carrier partners.

Xiaomi users are installing new applications on their devices at a rate of nearly twice that of their competitors using either the App Store or Google Play. Xiaomi phone owners average around 26.5 million apps downloaded per quarter per device, while those in Apple and Google’s mobile software ecosystem average around 13 to 15 million titles downloaded in the same span per gadget.

Check out this link:

Xiaomi ahead of Samsung smartphones, Apple App Store, and Google Play