The Interview grossed more than $1.04 million in theatrical ticket sales in a day from from its Christmas Eve debut Wednesday — an amount which might be a disappointment, considering the unprecedented news coverage and hype surrounding the controversial comedy.
In terms of other seasonal releases, the $1 million didn’t come close to Christmas Day openings such as 2009’s Sherlock Holmes ($24 million) and 2012’s Les Miserables ($18 million). Last year’s most anticipated Christmas day release, The Wolf of Wall Street, pulled in $9 million in its first frame.
The film — in addition to being available on a variety of digital outlets — was shown at 331 physical locations, many of them smaller theaters packed with fans touting the filmmakers’ right to free expression after Sony temporarily canceled its release following the hacking scandal officials deemed North Korea responsible for. (Threats of violence were made against theaters, as the farcical film depicts the assassination of North Korean despot Kim Jong Un.)
"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," said Rory Bruer, Sony’s worldwide distribution president, on Friday.
Bruer added that “the audience reaction was fantastic, as 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."