"The Interview" raked in $1 million at the box office on Christmas Day, Sony Pictures reported on Friday, and stands to make a few million more throughout the holiday weekend. The much-discussed comedy about North Korea opened in approximately 300 independent theaters on Thursday after it was released online Wednesday.
Many theaters reported sold-out screenings, and co-directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen even made appearances at theaters in Los Angeles to thank moviegoers for their support.
“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, Sony’s president of worldwide distribution, said in a statement. Bruer also noted that "The Interview" was only released in 10 percent of the theaters that originally planned to show the film.
Of course, the comedy almost didn't make it to theaters since major movie chains opted out of screening "The Interview" after hackers threatened terrorist attacks on places that showed it. Sony pulled the film from its release schedule last week, but reversed its decision on Tuesday. Independent theaters rallied behind the movie and Sony made the film available to rent or buy via streaming services like YouTube and Google Play. (Here's a full timeline of the events surrounding the release of "The Interview" for reference.)
The $1 million estimate does not include online rentals and purchases, and Sony hasn't announced its online sales yet.