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“The Interview” to Stream Online – Like Now

December 7, 2015

Well that was quick!  The now infamous Seth Rogan and James Franco (or Flacco if you’re President Obama) assassination comedy “The Interview” will stream online in addition to playing in hundreds of small independent theaters across the United States.

Let’s recap, last month Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered what Twitter has dubbed the #SonyHack when much of their confidential corporate and personal employee data was released online for what was claimed to be “retaliation” after Sony produced a film that portrays two Hollywood-types being recruited by the CIA to kill the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, after the “Supreme Leader” invites the duo to the isolated country.  The White House has now confirmed the hack from the group known as the “Guardians of Peace” to have originated from North Korea.

Soon after the threats to theaters, Sony allowed for their distribution partners to pull the movie if they so desired, and all the major chains did.  Some smaller and outspoken theaters such as the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Texas wanted to proceed, however as a majority of theaters were not showing the film, Sony pulled the flick altogether.  Then President Obama chastised Sony’s reaction in his year-end Press Conference (where he casually made history only calling on female reporters and renamed James Franco.)

Now let’s get back to the movie’s return to the theatre marquee.

That brings us to today, when the movie will be released online, one day before it hits theaters.  While streaming services like Netflix have been attempting to make history releasing a film online while it also plays in cinemas (what the industry calls a “Day-and-Date” release) with their Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel, (which doesn’t come out until next August,) “The Interview” will kill that films attempt to make history, releasing the film online a day before it hits theaters.  The film will be available on Google Play, YouTube, and starting at 10am PST, 12/24/2014.

According to public Internet domain registration records, was registered on Monday, December 22nd, 2014.  The last 48 hours at Sony have been busy, with plans to stream online hatched just this week.  We’ve sure come a long way from the film distribution of yesteryear where a film’s rolls had to be printed and shipped via courier to cinemas across the country and globe.  Will this film pave the way for other more adventurous, or less mainstream films to skip the traditional model and head straight to your living room?  Certainly the President’s free publicity, and the intense media coverage will give this film a head start, but if this film is a success perhaps it is the start of a new trend.