The Normal Heart” premiered Sunday to above-average numbers for an original HBO movie, drawing nearly 1 million viewers for its initial telecast, according to Nielsen estimates.

The adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play about the early days of the AIDS epidemic also drew about 435,000 viewers for a repeat later that night, bringing its total to about 1.4 million. That places it fifth in viewership among the 17 HBO Films that premiered on the network since 2010.

The recent ratings champ for an HBO Film was last year’s “Behind the Candelabra,” whose 2.39 million viewers on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend made it the premium cabler’s most watched original film in nine years. In 2012, “Game Change” drew 2.12 million.

“Normal Heart” was directed by Ryan Murphy and starred Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.