Produced on a $68,000 budget, the film was financially successful at the box office, grossing $3,221,152 in the United States despite only a limited theatrical release. It has sold steadily on DVD.
The film was well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 87% 'Fresh' rating based on 54 reviews with an average rating of 7.3/10. On Metacritic, the film has a rating of 72 (generally favorable reviews) out of 100 based on 23 reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four, writing: "Pi is a thriller. I am not very thrilled these days by whether the bad guys will get shot or the chase scene will end one way instead of another. You have to make a movie like that pretty skillfully before I care. But I am thrilled when a man risks his mind in the pursuit of a dangerous obsession." James Berardinelli gave the film three out of four stars, writing: "[Pi] transports us to a world that is like yet unlike our own, and, in its mysterious familiarity, is eerie, intense, and compelling. Reality is a fragile commodity, but, because the script is well-written and the central character is strongly developed, it's not hard to suspend disbelief....It probably deserves 3.1416 stars, but since my scale doesn't support that, I'll round it off to three."