For those inclined to see "The Interview" on the big screen instead of video on demand or online, two theaters in Washington, D.C., are screening the Seth Rogen-James Franco-faux assassination of Kim Jong Un movie, differentiating themselves from what one outlet has pegged Hollywood's Wussiest Moment of 2014.
The West End Cinema in Foggy Bottom and the Avalon in Chevy Chase are screening the satire at least through this Thursday. At the West End, it's been showing in Theater 2, which holds 75 people. The Avalon has been showing it in its Theater 1, which holds more than 300 and is one of the city's nicer movie experiences. At the West End, sold-out shows have given way to more modest crowds. At the Sunday 2:20 p.m. show, there were 18 people present. At the Avalon, a staffer said somewhere in the realm of 30 to 40 people had been buying tickets for each show. Not exactly barn-burning business, but respectable considering how popular it's been on VOD, YouTube, Amazon and the like.
Over the weekend, "The Interview" grossed $1.1 million on 581 screens, according to Box Office Mojo. That's an average of $1,893 per screen. For the two weeks it's been in theaters, it's grossed $4.9 million. During its first weekend of release, the film grossed $15 million in online and VOD sales, The Wrap reported . (The Wrap was the publication that dubbed Sony's back and forth on releasing the movie last year's top wuss moment.)
One thing the theaters do provide that's hard to replicate from the safety of one's home? The movie poster, which the Avalon staffer said had been swiped from the front of the theater. There's nothing like theft of swag to indicate popularity, no?
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., set the example for members of Congress, taking his wife to a Dec. 29 matinee at Chalmette Movies in suburban New Orleans. Before Sony relented and released the movie for Christmas, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., expressed interest in hosting a screening at the Capitol Visitor Center. Unclear if he'll continue to seek that, according to his office, but it could still happen. The thought of exploding heads, fart jokes and creative drone hiding places (you'll have to see the movie) coming to Capitol Hill is almost too good to be true.
As Vitter related in an email (reported by The Gambit ) he sent to supporters inviting them to come along to Chalmette with him, "Please keep in mind the 'R' rating. I've heard it’s very crude." That's about the mildest way to describe it.
Bonus for watching "The Interview" on the screen? The pre-movie "thank you" message Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg cut to show before the movie. In it, Rogen says if you're watching the movie "you're a goddamn f****** American."
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