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Sony's 'Interview' Tops $1 Million at Box Office

26 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Controversial buddy comedy ranks as No. 1 VOD title at Google Play, Xbox Movies and others

Sony Pictures' beleaguered comedy The Interview generated slightly more than $1 million at the Christmas Day domestic box office, according to industry reports.

The ‘R’-rated buddy film from Seth Rogen and co-starring James Franco about a fictional interview-turned-assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jung-un screened at 331 independent theaters and is projected to generate upwards of $4 million through the Dec. 28 weekend.

The movie, which was the alleged motivation for a month-long siege by cyber terrorists with North Korean affiliations on Sony Pictures, also debuted No. 1 on digital sellthrough platforms Google Play, Xbox Video and YouTube Movies among others. The platforms did not disclose actual revenue or unit transactions.

Regardless, The Interview marked the first time a major theatrical movie was released day-and-date on digital — a move historically opposed by theater groups seeking their traditional three-month exclusive window.

Sony had originally planned to launch The Interview Christmas Day on more than 3,000 screens nationally. That rollout was scrapped by four of the nation’s largest theater operators after a hacker group calling itself Guardians of Peace threatened to harm moviegoers. There were no reports of any violence or protests at the first-day indie screenings.

“Considering the incredible 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 at Sony Pictures, said in a statement.

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