Christmas Day ticket sales strong for 'The Interview'

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A trip to the movie theatre is a Christmas-time tradition for some and this year the release of "The Interview" was extra reason for many to go. (WLS)

A trip to the movie theatre is a Christmas-time tradition for some and this year the release of "The Interview" was extra reason for many to go.

Ticket sales were very strong at local theatres Thursday and some moviegoers said seeing the film is the patriotic thing to do.

Sony Pictures Entertainment first shelved the movie on threats of violence blamed on North Korea, but did an about-face and released it Thursday, its original release date.

At Hollywood Palms Cinema west suburban Naperville there were three screenings Thursday. Five more are scheduled for Friday and tickets through the weekend have been selling very well.

Reviews of the comedy starring Seth Rogan and James Franco are in, as well as the international controversy surrounding it.

"Harmless, completely harmless," said Anna Croft. "So funny, too. So funny. Everybody was laughing. Nobody wasn't."

"Controversy or not, it was just funny," James Sanchez said.

At Hollywood Blvd Cinema in Woodridge the line was long for the 4:30 screening. The only walk-up sales were for other movies, as tickets for all three Thursday screenings of "The Interview" were gone by 6 p.m. Wednesday.

It was public pressure that led to the film's release. Sony Pictures last week pulling the movie about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader after computer hackers threatened violence. The studio then decided to release it nearly 300 theaters, as well as on-demand, on XBox, YouTube, and Google Play.

"Please know that we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release," said Sony CEO Michael Lynton.

"It's going to be big," said Bob DeMyers, Hollywood Blvd Cinema co-owner. "I think that Sony is going to be very happy with the results they're going to get off this movie."

In Woodridge, police were on the lookout for trouble, but Thursday's large turnout suggests few moviegoers were concerned about safety.

"This is really a freedom of creative expression concept to me, and so I wanted to show my support to see the movie," said Karen Hammer.

In Naperville, one moviegoer had a message to those hackers.

"I think we should mail them a DVD, I really do. It was great," said Joyce Swolley.

The manager at Hollywood Palms said they are going to look at the numbers on Monday to decide if more show times need to be added.

Related Topics:
entertainmentmoviemovie premierenorth koreahackingNaperville
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