‘The Interview’ Box Office Hits $1M Opening Day

The Interview box office numbers are in, at least for opening day, and after getting a much smaller than expected 331-theater release, the controversial Seth Rogen comedy grossed $1 million.

It’s worth noting that this in no way reflects online sales.

According to a report from CNN, whether the release was good or bad depends on who you’re talking to.

Reporter Brian Stelter notes that Deadline felt it was “decent,” though “certainly not as jaw dropping as the headlines the film has spurred,” while Variety classified it as an “impressive launch.”

For its part, Sony Pictures Entertainment, victims of the now-famous “Sony hack” allegedly perpetrated by North Korea, was happy.

“The audience reaction was fantastic — the limited release, in under 10 percent of the amount of theaters originally planned, featured numerous sellouts and a first-day gross over $1 million,” Sony Pictures worldwide distribution president Rory Bruer said in a statement, adding that the film endured “incredibly challenging” circumstances to reach the gross that it did.

Unfortunately, the digital sales may never be available since Sony has yet to agree to release those numbers, but going by the fact that it was No. 1 on both YouTube and Google Play’s rental charts as of Friday, it likely did quite well.

Most VOD rentals for new releases are priced at $5.99. Of course, part of that cut would go to the site host, but even if you’re looking at the standard 30 percent that most sites charge, the film still took in a haul of $4.193 per download.

So the last remaining outlier on whether The Interview box office could be considered successful or not is cost of production. As it turns out, the film cost $44 million to make, Forbes notes (info released in the Sony hack), while Seth Rogen was paid $8.4 million and James Franco $6.5 million.

If you factor in what analysts are saying the Sony hack will cost the studio (I’ve heard numbers as low as $100 million and as high as $500 million), it will be very difficult for the film to earn back what it cost Sony directly and indirectly.

So if this was all a big marketing stunt as some Redditors seem to think, then it was a pretty stupid one.

As for the alleged perpetrators of the Sony hack, it is still within question whether the government is telling the truth that North Korea was behind it.

But what do you think, readers? Should The Interview box office take be considered a success or a failure? Sound off in our comments section.