And the penny drops:
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!
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) December 23, 2014
“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, chief executive officer 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 scrapped the Dec. 25 debut after the four biggest U.S. theater chains took the movie off their schedule, a response to threats from hackers linked to North Korea. President Barack Obama said last week the studio’s capitulation to terrorists would hinder freedom of expression.
“As the President made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said today in a statement. “The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome.”
Of course, everything Sony is saying here is complete garbage. I don’t believe for a second that it was Sony’s intention to get creative with its release strategy; I give credit for this not to the execs involved but to the owners and operators of independent theatres like the Alamo Drafthouse, who took matters into their own hands, offered to screen the film, and when that didn’t work out, attempted to screen something just as subversive and rude as “The Interview.”
— The Verge (@verge) December 23, 2014
But…could it be…just a brilliant marketing strategy??
The Interview will be shown in some theaters after again. Again I say, brilliant PR stunt #Sony.
— Chad Hasty (@ChadHastyRadio) December 23, 2014
this whole "limited release of the interview" thing is the stupidest publicity stunt i've ever seen but i'll be damned if it's not working
— kate (@kate_the_gr9) December 23, 2014
— Sassie Chackelford (@Helena_Dshbag) December 23, 2014
If it is a marketing stunt, it’s working:
Tickets for 1st showing of "The Interview" 11:20am Christmas Day sold out in 20 – minutes. Website overwhelmed pic.twitter.com/oKWUm33LPh
— Shelton Green (@SheltonG_KVUE) December 23, 2014
I have no desire to see the movie The Interview, but in the spirit of not backing down, I will go see it if @EnzianTheater shows it.
— Jody (@JodyAVL) December 23, 2014
— Jaclyn Schultz FOX 5 (@jaclynFOX5ATL) December 23, 2014
I'd like to show support for The Interview but I doubt I'll have time to actually go see it. Is there someone I could buy tickets for?
— Josiah Neeley (@jneeley78) December 23, 2014
While I think that this “limited release” amounts to Sony making lemonade out of a tub of lemons it imposed upon itself, I don’t think the overall controversy, threat, and cancellation is part of a grand scheme to make a few extra dollars. Orchestrating something like this would likely involve more risk than a major corporation like Sony would be willing to take on, considering the possibility for fallout if it failed. Major theatre chains like AMC and Regal are still refusing to show the film, so if this is a stunt, it’s a stunt that’s lost them access to over half the market.
Did Sony do a cowardly thing? Yes. Has the company responded to the outrage of its customer base? Yes. Does that customer base know that Sony is full of it? Also yes.
Will I be going to see “The Interview” this month?
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