Sony to Release 'The Interview' on Dec. 25, Reversing Decision

VOD Reportedly in the Works as Well

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A scene from 'The Interview,' which will appear in (some) theaters on Christmas Day after all.
A scene from 'The Interview,' which will appear in (some) theaters on Christmas Day after all. Credit: Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures said it will do a limited release of "The Interview" on Christmas Day, reversing an earlier decision to shelve the picture amid threats of violence.

Alamo Drafthouse, based in Austin, Texas, said on Twitter it will show the Seth Rogen-directed picture starting Dec. 25. The Plaza in Atlanta will also show the comedy about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to its Twitter page.

"We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview' and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, said in a statement today. "We are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."

The studio canceled the release last week after hackers linked to North Korea broke into its computers and threatened theaters with violence. The studio later came under criticism, including from President Barack Obama, for bowing to pressure from the hackers to shelve the release.

The film stars Rogen and James Franco as a pair of television journalists who are directed to kill Kim by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The studio's executives were concerned enough about the fateful scene that Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai personally approved a toned-down version. Lynton consulted with Rand Corp. and the U.S. State Department.

Sony pulled trailers and marketing materials after canceling the release while Rogen and Franco called off publicity appearances. Mr. Lynton said in a CNN interview last week that Sony still planned to release the film, and was exploring how to do it.

Mr. Rogen celebrated on Twitter:

Sony also plans to release the film via video-on-demand platforms, according to TheWrap. The Art House Convergence, a coalition of independent theater owners that includes Alamo Drafthouse, offered yesterday to screen the movie.

~ Bloomberg News ~

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