Despite the controversial circumstances surroundings its (non) release, The Interview has grossed over $1 million in its first day of release. The last-minute decision might have represented something of a gamble, but Sony Corporation seem to have ended a torrid couple of weeks on a high note.

Having cancelled the comedy’s release a week ago amid threats from a cyberhacking group, the studio reversed its decision and rushed out last-minute copies of the film to 320 independent cinemas through the States. Nonetheless, the decision has resulted in an impressive PR coup for the company, who have been accused of caving in to threats to free speech.

Seth Rogen James Franco
Seth Rogen and James Franco's new movie 'The Interview' finally saw the light of day in a limited Christmas Day release

Seth Rogen, who stars in the film alongside James Franco as a journalist unwittingly sucked into an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, spent an hour on Christmas Day personally thanking fans who turned up to a 12:30am screening at The Silent Movie Theatre in L.A.

Sony Pictures’ president of distribution Rory Bruer gave a statement: “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.”

The film was also released on Google Play and YouTube, Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console and Sony’s own The Interview took about $15 million less than the Christmas Day box office leader Unbroken, the prisoner-of-war drama by Angelina Jolie, which raked in $15.6 million.

It’s entirely possible that the hackers have accidentally made The Interview much more successful than it would otherwise have been if they’d ignored it. The entire episode goes to show that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Just imagine if it had seen a full release!

According to other news, the film has also been downloaded more than 750,000 times, in data compiled by the website TorrentFreak.

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