Sony Pictures finally released The Interview yesterday on Christmas Day. The film grossed over $1 million in limited release. Mostly independent theaters carried the film, including Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse and The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta.
Studio executives initially pulled the film from its planned release following threats from a cyberterrorist group to attack cinemas screening the film. However, they changed their minds on Tuesday and rushed copies of the comedy to 320 independent cinemas.
In a statement, Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures president of distribution, says, “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.”
The film was also released online via Google Inc’s YouTube and Google Play, Microsoft Corp’s Xbox gaming console and Sony’s own dedicated website, Kernel.com. It’s estimated that over 750,000 people illegally downloaded the film via BitTorrent on Christmas.
The film’s star Seth Rogen spent the first hour of Christmas Day personally thanking fans who attended a 12.30am screening of the comedy at The Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles.
The Interview was expected to gross at least 20 million in wide release over the holiday weekend. For Christmas Day, it was almost $15 million behind Angelina Jolie’s prisoner-of-war drama Unbroken, which led all films at the Christmas Day box office with $15.6 million, $600,000 ahead of star-studded movie musical Into The Woods.
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