The Interview grossed about $1 million in ticket sales from its limited release in 331 theaters on Christmas, Variety reports. It's expected to bring in between $3 million and $4 million over the long holiday weekend.
“Considering the incredibly challenging circumstances, we are extremely grateful to the people all over the country who came out to experience The Interview on the first day of its unconventional release,” Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures, said in a statement issued this morning. “The audience reaction was fantastic — the limited release, in under 10 percent of the amount of theaters originally planned, featured numerous sell-outs and a first-day gross over $1 million.”
Although the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy was originally planned for release on more than 3,000 screens, a beleaguered Sony -- already reeling from the fallout from cyberattacks -- was forced to alter its plans when major theater chains balked amid threats of violence from the hackers against cinemas that showed the movie. The Interview depicts a fictional assassination plot against Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea, which the U.S. government claims sponsored the hacks.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said the threats of 9/11-style violence weren't credible, and no incidents occurred at the theaters that premiered the film.
It was announced Tuesday that 331 independently owned theaters would step into the void left by their larger competitors, with more joining beginning Jan. 1. Sony later struck an 11th-hour deals for the films to be released simultaneously on Christmas on Google-owned YouTube and Google Play and on Microsoft’s Xbox Video. It was also streamed on a Sony website. Receipts from on-demand sales were not made available.