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article imageSony will release 'The Interview' in 200 theatres Christmas Day

By Marcus Hondro     Dec 24, 2014 in Entertainment
Six days ago Sony responded to threats from hackers by announcing they would not release 'The Interview.' But on Tuesday they changed course and said they will release the film Christmas Day, as previously planned. But it won't be much of a release.
Finding theaters for 'The Interview'
Whether it was the disappointment U.S. President Barack Obama expressed with Sony's decision not to release, or it was what Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael Lynton said it was Tuesday, a standing up to those who would attempt to "suppress free speech," the satire starring Seth Rogen and James Franco will come out as planned.
Or almost as planned.
The major U.S. movie chain theaters are not likely to pick up the film for the Christmas Day release and only about 200 theaters, smaller independent theaters, are planning to show it. Sony is also looking to release the $44 million film as a video-on-demand movie on the same day.
As of Tuesday, however, Sony had not found a willing video-on-demand distribution partner. Such a tactic would not be welcomed by theaters who've signed on to show it, nor the major chains who may yet decide to show it, as they will surely claim it will cut into their audience.
The hunt for Kim Jong-un
The hacking of the Sony included threats to theaters showing the film. The hackers said a "9-11" style terrorist attack would be visited on any theaters who run 'The Interview.' Some theaters dropped out and Sony canceled the release, despite the fact its first weekend of box office was projected to be worth about $25 million.
In the movie, two TV journalists are invited to North Korea by Kim Jong-un and the CIA convinces them to assassinate the North Korean leader. The head of Mr. Kim, who's played by Randall Park, explodes in the film.
The F.B.I. in the U.S. has said the North Korean government is responsible for the hacking and threats and earlier hacks that saw personal emails released. However, North Korea has denied it has has anything to do with the hacking and insisted the U.S. enter into a joint probe of the affair with them.
A statement from the Korean Central News Agency Saturday threatened the U.S. if it did not agree to a probe. “The U.S. should bear in mind it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with North Korea," the statement said.
First step in release of 'The Interview'
Sony said that the FBI will be given the name of all the theaters that sign on to show the film, presumably so they might decide to have agents provide some kind of security, though neither the FBI nor Sony has commented on potential security arrangements. The company said that it intends to find a wider release for the film than these first 200 theaters.
“We have never given up on releasing The Interview,” Mr. Lynton said in his statement Tuesday. “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.”
More about Sony Hacking, North korea, us president barack obama, sony to release the interview, seth rogen and james franco
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