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For those of you unaware recently The Interview, Sony’s recent film, was subject of much controversy. To begin with the film portrays American actors James Franco and Seth Rogan planning and executing the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
This all started when approaching the release of the film Sony was hacked. The culprits released personal information of the company and workers as well as future plans and completed unreleased films. A group later came forward taking claim while also threatening all movie goers who decided to watch it. Following the threats theaters refused to show the film forcing the film into a digital release. Many speculated North Korea was behind the hacks and threats due to their obvious objection to the content and their superior hacking abilities. However after all of this the film released online successfully with no backlash after only a minor delay.
Now one day this will be a great study for online distribution and release, but now we must examine the state of the industry and this country. For a nation that considers themselves elite to role over to unauthenticated terroristic threats over a comedy film is upsetting. This threatens our rights of freedom of speech as Americans as we see a industry try to sensor a film. As an industry we were offered a chance to band together and take a stand, yet we folded.
However the internet provided a voice for this film as it does for many. The film eventually released on the Xbox marketplace as well as Amazon Instant Store after a slight delay while.eventually making its way to Netflix. As a film maker I am glad to see this story had a happy ending. According to a January L.A Times post the film made over $31 million through Video On Demand on about 4.3 million purchases. It also grossed another five million from local theater releases that did not pull the film. Still not the $45-$60 million analysts suspected the film would bring in with ticket sales, but still enough to probably make its $43 million dollar return on investment in the near future with its Netflix deal and pending DVD release.