by Justin Cook
Sony is set to release their upcoming controversial comedy The Interview online and on multiple viewing platforms today, on top of releasing it in around 300 theaters nationwide as well tomorrow. Sony will release the film on YouTube Movies, Xbox Video and Google Play. The studio said the following:
As of 10:00 a.m. PST (1:00 p.m. EST), the film will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and the dedicated website www.seetheinterview.com at a price of $5.99. The film can also be purchased in HD for $14.99.
This is certainly an interesting decision by Sony to announce the film’s release online the same day it is available for viewing, but considering how much controversy has surrounded the film, it should be no problem for Sony to get the word out.
If The Interview is successful in its simultaneous theater and online release, we’ll have to wait and see if other mainstream Hollywood movies begin to do the same thing. Over the past few years, releasing movies VOD has become much more popular, however, a high-profile R-rated comedy has never been released this way. Seeing how good or bad the film does could be telling of where Hollywood is heading.
Sony CEO Michael Lynton made a statement saying, “I want to thank Google and Microsoft for helping make this a reality. This release represents our commitment to our filmmakers and free speech. While we couldn’t have predicted the road this movie traveled to get to this moment, I’m proud our fight was not for nothing and that cyber criminals were not able to silence us.”
Sony reversed there decision from last week, announcing that they would pull the film after the five largest theater chains in North America, including AMC and Regal, decided not to show it. Many criticized Sony’s decision, and began to rally behind The Interview. Everyone from Steve Carell to Sean Penn expressed disappointment in Sony for making the decision they did. Even President Obama weighed in on the matter, encouraging Sony to release the film, and not give in to threats.
Quote Source: The Wrap