The controversial R-rated movie "The Interview" nearly suffered a near cancellation before its scheduled showing but made over $1 million during its limited theatrical release on Christmas Eve. One question still remains: Will the box office earnings offset production costs? Read on for further details.
Following 9/11-like attack threats on movie theaters from Sony hackers, Guardians of Peace (GOP) and a much-criticized and unscheduled pull-out of the film, Sony Pictures finally released "The Interview" at independent theaters on Dec. 24, 2014, making $1 million on the first day alone.
"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 Sony Pictures' WorldWide Distribution President Rory Bruer in a statement published on E! News.
"The audience reaction was fantastic—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," added Bruer.
The Kim Jong-un assassination comedy was also made available via Google Play, Microsoft Xbox Video, and YouTube, where it pulled in over $15 million in revenues from these online platforms. Sony reported the movie’s strong cyberspace response, with more than 2 million downloads from users.
The following day, earnings took a 33 percent dip and came up with $725,000 at the box office.
However, with a production budget of $45 million, a domestic marketing budget of $35 million, an overseas marketing budget of around $12 million, Sony will need to make more than $92 million to break even. Meanwhile, the film is likely to be pirated to death.
Critics are even now taking potshots at the movie, giving it a weak 5.9 rating.
“Unfortunately overshadowed by controversy (and under-screened as a result), The Interview's screenplay offers middling laughs bolstered by its two likable leads,” read the film’s Rotten Tomatoes consensus.
Still, after all the controversy surrounding the movie, Sony may have been prepared to lose money over it, and the unexpected response on opening day is a surprising bonus. The media giant has also inked a deal with Apple, making "The Interview" available for purchase on iTunes, so it should be able to recover some of the production costs.
Here’s a rundown on how well the movie went with critics:
Have you seen "The Interview" yet? Share your thoughts while you stay tuned for more movie and entertainment news at Movie News Guide (MNG).
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Alice Barigelli