Netflix has confirmed that The Interview, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, will be available for streaming beginning Saturday, January 24.
The comedy/action film has been the center of controversy and criticism since Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked by an unknown entity on November 24, 2014. This cyber attack was quickly associated with The Interview, due to the film’s plot, which centers around an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un, the well-known (and real-life) leader of North Korea.
A New Way to Distribute
Due to threats on the part of the hackers, many major theater chains (including AMC, Regal and Cinemark) decided to cancel all screenings of The Interview. By the time the movie’s December 24th release date rolled around, only 331 theaters chose to screen the film in the U.S.
However, with the rise of subscription video-on-demand platforms (and lots of money left to be made), Sony decided to release the film on various streaming services including Google Play, iTunes, YouTube and Xbox Video. Users have the option to rent the film for $5.99 or purchase it for $14.99.
“We always said that we would get the movie to the greatest audience possible,” says Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment. “Achieving over $40 million in digital sales is a significant milestone” and is a possible sign of the future of motion picture distribution.
#CreateTheNext Independent Film
Sony’s move benefits not only viewers who want to see The Interview, but may also help independent filmmakers. In the same way that YouTube has allowed virtually anyone to distribute their own videos to a wider audience, this change in the way films are distributed may give filmmakers more ways to broadcast their work to a larger audience.
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