Sony puts 'The Interview' on YouTube
Updated: 2014-12-25 13:35
Tickets for the film "The Interview" is seen held up by theater manager Donald Melancon for the media at Crest Theater in Los Angeles, California December 24, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]
It was unclear the degree to which the online release would reduce moviegoers' appetite to see the comedy in the independent theaters that announced on Tuesday they planned to show it.
Many Christmas Day screenings were sold out, including one that begins right after midnight at the 184-seat Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles.
"I need to say that a comedy is best viewed in a theater full of people, so if you can, I'd watch it like that," Rogen tweeted. "Or call some friends over."
Theater owners said they were taking some extra security precautions and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had been in contact with them.
"When a film attracts this kind of hype, there has to be concerns," said Greg Laemmle, co-owner and president of Laemmle, an art house chain with several theaters in the Los Angeles area.
"As long as we're not being irresponsible in terms of addressing patron safety," he added, "we really need to support freedom of artistic expression."
THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN
As of 4:15 pm EST, or more than three hours after the movie was released online, 10,671 visitors to YouTube had given the film a "thumbs up" versus 822 with a "thumbs down." The 989 reviewers on Google Play gave the movie an average of 4.7 stars out of 5.
Critical reviews of "The Interview" have been more mixed. On the website Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from film critics, 54 percent of 35 reviewers rated the movie positively.
The showing is a chance for Google and Microsoft, which have been bit players in a VOD market dominated by Apple Inc , Amazon.com Inc and cable and satellite operators, to raise their profile.