The online release of “The Interview” fared surprisingly well for Sony Pictures, as the company announced total revenues of $15 million from approximately 2 million sales and rentals. The company didn’t provide a breakdown between $15 sales and $6 rentals, but as teacher Dan Myer pointed out, it didn’t have to—a bit of simple algebra does the job.
Here’s the equation, with x=the number of rentals (and “2,000,000 – x” = the number of sales)
6x + 15 (2,000,000-x)=15,000,000
Solving the equation, x=1.67 million rentals, which means there were 330,000 downloads.
Here is how the NYTimes reported the numbers:
“The Interview” generated roughly $15 million in online sales and rentals during its first four days of availability, Sony Pictures said on Sunday.
Sony did not say how much of that total represented $6 digital rentals versus $15 sales. The studio said there were about two million transactions over all.
I guess we would never know if it were not for math. We have two variables (rentals and sales) and two equations – x+y=2,000,000 and 6(x) + 15(y)=15,000,000.
Simplifying, y=2000000-x. Substitute for y and solve for x.
But that was too much for the NYTimes stenographer.