The Interview

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“That people actually left their houses when they had the option of staying home is amazing,” he says

The controversial movie comedy “The Interview” would have shattered that record for biggest difference between media mania and box-office returns this weekend, if Hollywood measured such things.

The Seth RogenJames Franco comedy at the center of the Sony hacking scandal dominated the news over the run-up to the holidays when, under pressure from President Obama and much of film industry’s creative community, the studio reversed an earlier decision to scrap its release in the wake of terror threats by hackers tied to North Korea.

After finally opening to flag-waving fans on Christmas Day – with the major theaters chains steering clear because Sony offered it for online in the first day-and-date digital release of a major studio film – it finished the four days with $2.8 million from 331 mainly smaller independent theaters.

That’s respectable, given the challenges it faced, but hardly a blip on the box-office radar and far less than the $20 million-plus it was projected to make when it was scheduled for a nationwide release in up to 3,000 theaters. But on Sunday, Sony and the film’s co-director and star were thrilled.

“I’m so grateful that the movie found its way into theaters,” said Rogen, “and I’m thrilled that people actually went out and saw it. The fact that people actually left their houses when they had the option of staying home is amazing.”

Sony’s President Worldwide Distribution Rory Bruer said the top priority of the unconventional release was to give people the chance to see the film.

“While this is a completely unprecedented circumstance without proper comparisons, we are very pleased with how it is doing both theatrically where we are seeing numerous sell-outs across the country, and online where it remains at the top of many charts,” he said. “Most gratifying of all is hearing how people banded together to watch the film and have a good time.”

Sony has yet to release numbers on the film’s online performance, but it was the top movie at several streaming sites over the weekend.

Source: The Wrap

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