Friday, December 26, 2014 11:13 pm
Raunchy comedy “The Interview” took in one million dollars in its limited release opening day, Sony Studios said Friday, after the film was turned away by major theaters.
“The limited release, in under 10 percent of the amount of theaters originally planned, featured numerous sellouts and a first-day gross over $1 million,” said Rory Bruer, global distribution president from Sony Pictures.
After initially planning to halt release of the film that sparked an international incident, “The Interview” opened in about 300 cinemas, mostly small independent theaters, December 25.
The film was also released online for rental or purchase.
Major US theater chains announced last week that they would not show the film after threats from hackers who claimed a cyber attack of Sony Studios.
The low-brow comedy featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco revolves around the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. It infuriated North Korea, who the US has blamed for the cyber attack.
“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,” Bruer said in a statement.
The film played to packed theaters across the US, with many viewers coming out to make a statement about free speech.
Online services for Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox gaming consoles, which had decided to release the film online, went down Thursday, allegedly attacked by hackers.
A file sharing website reported the film had been illegally downloaded over 750,000 times.
Online views of the film had not yet been released.