THE premiere of The Normal Heart on HBO channel in the US was watched by 1.4 million viewers on Sunday night.

The film, based on the autobiographical play by Larry Kramer, tells the story of the early days of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York City and stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.

It has reportedly become the fifth most-watched HBO film since 2010, although still lower than last year’s gay-themed Behind the Candelabra, which attracted 2.4 million views on its premiere.

In the lead-up to the movie’s premiere, it courted controversy with Kramer accusing Barbra Streisand of alleged homophobic comments in regards to the film.

It is not yet known when The Normal Heart will be available to watch in Australia.

Watch the trailer:

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