3RD UPDATE, 2:16 PM: The official theater count for Sony PicturesThe Interview for tomorrow’s nationwide release is 331. A Sony rep confirmed the number this afternoon after Sony distribution boss Rory Bruer told Deadline last night that the number was more than 300. Check out our list of venues holding screenings here.

2ND UPDATE, TUESDAY, 6:22 PM: Sony Pictures’ President of Worldwide Distribution Rory Bruer tonight told Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr that more than 300 theaters have lined up to screen The Interview. That total includes most major cities — New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Cleveland, Phoenix and Dallas among them — and more theaters than anyone expected, considering the late notice and the fact Sony is finalizing plans to simultaneously release The Interview via a VOD/streaming strategy.

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PREVIOUS, UPDATED WITH SONY COMMENTS: As indie theaters scramble to book Sony Pictures’ reinstated December 25 release of The Interview, word is that the company is being inundated with requests ahead of a 6 PM PT deadline for venues to stake their claim to the pic. So much so that some are having a difficult time getting requests granted in time to show the movie on Christmas Day. By 4 PM, the number of the theaters that had secured the film’s release has climbed above 200. “Still waiting to hear from @SonyPictures,” Los Angeles’ the Cinefamily, which had announced its intent to show The Interview, wrote on Twitter at 1:30 PM. “Rumor is if they don’t book it in next hour, no one is at office till Jan. 5th.”

sony-pictures-logoCinefamily is hardly alone. There are multiple reports from different cities of theaters that have asked to carry the controversial comedy but have not received a confirmation. Very few are deterred by the prospect of the film getting a day-and-date VOD release.

“Sony has had so many bookings coming in it is now focused on areas where a theater can guarantee a two-week run, or longer,” said one source involved with the situation this afternoon. “They’re so inundated with bookings they are being more careful about where they are booking [The Interview] in all the different markets.”

“It’s been a great response….There have been so many bookings that they’re looking less for one-off screening sand more for theaters that can commit to more substantial runs.”

So far, it’s been a strong response from moviegoers too. An hour after Sony announced that The Interview would be getting a limited release, one of the first theaters unveiled, Alamo Drafthouse’s One Loudoun location in Ashburn, VA, had sold out its Thursday showing.

Sony’s deadline for requests is owed to logistical issues, including getting prints delivered in time for Thursday screening times.