Good morning, friends and Fortune readers.
Happy Friday (and Boxing Day for our friends in the U.K., Canada and elsewhere.) U.S. stock futures are higher on the final day of a holiday-shortened trading week, and after a sixth-straight day of gains for the Dow.
Here’s what else is going on today.
1. ‘The Interview’ theaters were full
Despite terrorist threats and awful reviews, movie goers went out in droves to watch “The Interview” yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reports. The film did not receive the wide release that was originally planned, but the independent theaters showing the movie (around 300) were packed. The digital release of the movie is also going well, with The Verge reporting that it is currently the most popular video on YouTube.
2. Japanese fries lovers can breathe easy
After a harrowing month in which only — gasp! — small size fries could be ordered, Japanese McDonald’s (MCD) diners will once again be able to order all sizes of fries starting Jan. 5. The restrictions had been in place due to a shortage of imported potatoes, but the company has been able to bring in more shipments by sea, and some by air, to improve its stock.
3. Trouble in gamers paradise
Hacks forced the online networks for both Microsoft’s (MSFT) XBox and Sony’s (SNE) Playstation offline yesterday, surely enraging a contingent of gamers who had just opened up new games and consoles Christmas morning. The hacker group “Lizard Squad” took credit for the attacks. Despite Sony’s involvement with “The Interview,” and Microsoft’s decision to stream the movie, this hack doesn’t seem to be related.
4. Chinese lending could be getting easier
The People’s Bank of China is weighing changing rules governing how loan-to-deposit ratios are calculated at banks, a move that would boost liquidity conditions, sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.
5. Ruble rebound
After weeks of doom and gloom, there may be some good news for the Russian currency market. The ruble is at its highest point in more than three weeks, reports Reuters, on orders from the government for sales of hard currency revenue. The slide in the ruble was seen as a potentially massive destabilizer for the region, and its rebound will likely be seen as soothing.
—Reuters contributed to this report.