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article imageSony announces limited release for ‘The Interview’ Christmas Day

By Sarah Gopaul     Dec 23, 2014 in Entertainment
Sony issues statement announcing limited theatrical release for once-cancelled ‘The Interview’ in the United States on Christmas Day.
Sony has gone from no release plans for The Interview to a limited theatrical run still set to open Christmas Day. In a statement issued today, the studio confirmed the controversial film would see the light of day after all in spite of threats of terrorist attacks by hackers in recent weeks.
"We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theatres on Christmas Day," said Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. "At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theatres so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."
The early announcements were made on Twitter by two of the cinemas that will be hosting screenings. Tim League, founder and CEO of the Austin, Texas-based theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, tweeted: “Breaking news: Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day. We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory” The Plaza cinema in Atlanta had similar news to share: “Breaking Plaza News: The Interview will open Exclusive on 12/25. The Plaza will be one of the few theaters in the nation to open the film.”
The film, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was shelved on Dec. 17 when four of North America’s major theatre chains — AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment, Cinemark and Cineplex Entertainment — refused to host any screenings after threats of a “9/11-style” attack were made by the hacker group Guardians of Peace. Sony released a statement saying, "In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release." Both Alamo Drafthouse and Plaza Atlanta wanted to show Paramount’s Team America: World Police in the aftermath of the initial cancellation, but were denied copies of the film.
However hopes were again raised over the weekend when Sony lawyer David Boies indicated the studio was still exploring release options during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press. "Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed," said Boies. "How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet. But it's going to be distributed."
In response to the announcement, the film’s stars voiced their excitement on Twitter. Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote and co-directed the movie, tweeted: “The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!” Franco added: “VICTORY!!!!!!! The PEOPLE and THE PRESIDENT have spoken!!! SONY to release THE INTERVIEW in theaters.”
In the statement, Lynton went on to say, "I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech."
It’s reported Sony is also seeking to release the film simultaneously on VOD, which would definitively eliminate the possibility of a major release as most theatre chains have a policy against showing movies concurrently available via other mediums.
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