By Nolan Feeney
May 27, 2014

HBO’s The Normal Heart brought in 1.4 million viewers on Sunday night, making it the fifth-biggest debut of the 17 films HBO has created since 2010, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Glee creator Ryan Murphy directed the adaptation of Larry Kramer’s award-winning 1985 play, which followed the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City and starred Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch and Julia Roberts.

Just under 1 million people watched the first screening at 9 p.m., while more than 400,000 viewers tuned in for a second broadcast later that night. The total audience for the film is expected to spike once time-shifted viewings and HBO Go users are factored in.

While the numbers aren’t bad for the film, the showing pales in comparison to Lifetime’s Flowers in the Attic sequel, which premiered with 3.4 million viewers the following night.

Watch TIME’s interview with Kitsch above.


Write to Nolan Feeney at

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