"The Interview" got some enviable buzz while almost taking out Sony Pictures. Watching it has become a cultural event and/or a political statement. And for those reasons, some estimate it could bring in more than $4 million over the weekend. Reuters

It was the little assassination comedy that could, and even though “The Interview” played in only 350 small theaters around the country Christmas Day, it made a healthy $1 million, reports Variety. Not bad for a film that looked like it wasn’t going to screen at all.

Angelina Jolie-directed “Unbroken,” Meryl Streep-led “Into the Woods,” and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” are estimated to make at least $40 million each over the Christmas weekend, according to Variety, which speculates that these films got extra attention because of the brouhaha surrounding “The Interview.”

The war drama “Unbroken,” about war hero Louis Zamperini, brought in about $15 million, and some estimate it could bring in $45 million over the weekend. “Into the Woods” took in $12 million to $13 million, and could net between $39 million and $44 million. Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brought in about $12 million, leading to a $40 million weekend, and could total $155 million by the end of Sunday.

"The Interview" is sure to have more modest gains. But what will its weekend earnings look like?

"The Interview" began streaming on Wednesday through Google Play, YouTube Movies -- where it was the No. 1 download as of Christmas night -- as well as on Microsoft’s Xbox Video and its own site, www.seetheinterview.com, for $5.99 (rental) or $14.99 (purchase). Those sites did not release their sales figures, according to Variety.

An earlier 2014 release that opened on video-on-demand services and then in theaters, "Veronica Mars," made $1.98 million in its debut weekend in March. Forbes’ Scott Mendelson anticipates that "The Interview" will do slightly better than "Veronica Mars," netting between $2 million and $7 million by end of Sunday, more realistically around $4 million. “The Interview,” after all, even got marketing from President Obama himself.