NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE) said its controversial movie, The Interview, opened Christmas Day to sold-out viewings, grossing more than $1 million in box office sales as it debuted in more than 300 theaters.
Must Read: 5 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Watching Your Favorite Holiday Movies
"The audience reaction was fantastic -- the limited release, in under 10% of the amount of theaters originally planned, featured numerous sell-outs and a first-day gross over $1 million," said Rory Bruer, Sony Pictures Entertainment president of worldwide distribution in a company statement.
The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was released in roughly 331 small and independent movie theaters throughout the U.S. and through four digital channels: Google Play, SeeTheInterview.com, Xbox Video and YouTube Movies.
But as moviegoers enjoyed access to the film, game console users over the holiday struggled with a new hacking scandal. Microsoft (MSFT) became the latest victim of a cyber attack as Xbox users struggled with connection problems. The outage plagued Xbox platforms like Xbox One and Xbox 360 for several hours while PlayStation Network users experienced similar delays. A group called the Lizard Squad claimed responsibility.
The Interview, which cost $44 million, has been garnering mixed reviews from critics. But the film was listed first on YouTube's "Popular Right Now" section early Friday, where it drew more than 13.5 million views, according to some reports, and had nearly 112,000 "likes" and about 21,300 "dislikes." Exact view counts were not available on YouTube, which streams the movie for rent or purchase starting at $5.99.