Sony to stream ‘The Interview’ on YouTube, Google Play, Xbox and more – Fox News
Sony will stream the controversial film “The Interview” on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and a separate Sony website beginning Wednesday.
The movie, set to be released on demand at 1 p.m. EST Wednesday, will cost $5.99 to stream. The Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy will also be show in about 300 independent theaters nationwide beginning on Thursday.
The studio issued a statement regarding their decision to release the film.
“It has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release this film,” said Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton. “We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for ‘The Interview’…We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.”
The unusual release marks one of the first times a studio movie will be shown simultaneously in theaters and video on demand. Usually, larger studio films aren’t made available on digital platforms for at least a few months after the initial theatrical release, to ensure maximizing theater box office.
Last week, Sony abruptly canceled the Christmas Day release of “The Interview” in the wake of an extensive hacking attack and release of confidential emails by a group linked with North Korea.
“Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy,” the hackers wrote in a new message Friday. They threatened 9/11-like attacks against movie theaters scheduled to show the Sony film.
The movie stars Rogen and Franco as journalists tasked by the CIA with killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
But the company then wavered in the face of public outcry and criticism from President Barack Obama.
“We can not have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate us out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing once they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like,” Obama said. “That’s now who we are. That’s not what America is about.”
Google showed its support with a post on its official blog, saying the company “could not sit on the sidelines.”
“Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be). “
Lynton said the release represented the company’s commitment to 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,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.