Buoyed by the opening weekend release in 331 independent theatres and in particular the $15m online launch, the studio is expanding the US release of its controversial comedy.

Sony Pictures representatives said on Wednesday (December 31) that the film will increase its independent theatre count to more than 580. By December 31 the film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco had grossed $3.3m from 331 sites.

The international release remains on hold although sources said the studio expects to know more after the weekend.

The Interview will also become available via VOD on the major cable platforms after Sony claimed it generated $15m from a number of online platforms starting on December 24. As with all digital grosses, the figure is unverifiable.

VOD options include iN DEMAND affiliates such as Bright House Networks, Comcast, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable; VUBIQUITY affiliates including Charter Communications, Cablevision, and AT&T U-verse TV; Verizon FiOS; DIRECTV; and Walmart’s digital VOD service VUDU.

The price point for these VOD and pay-per-view platforms was due to start on December 31 at $5.99. EST transactions will be made available to VUDU and Verizon customers.

The Interview will also be made available on PlayStation Network starting on January 1.

“We have always sought the widest possible distribution for The Interview, and want to thank our new partners for helping us make that happen,” said Sony Pictures chairman and CEO Michael Lynton.

The executive’s comment contradicts a statement issued by Sony on December 17 after it cancelled the scheduled wide theatrical release on December 25 and said, “Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film.”

The Interview is currently available online through Google Play; YouTube Movies; Microsoft’s Xbox Video; iTunes and a dedicated website.