Sony Pictures claimed it couldn't premiere The Interview after major theater chains pulled out due to threats, but independent operators (and the president) have successfully called it out. Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League tweeted that Sony has authorized screenings of the now must-see film, and you can expect to see Christmas Day shows available within the hour. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Plaza Atlanta theater has also stated it will have showings on Thursday,
although Sony Pictures has yet to comment publicly. According to LA Times reporter Joe Bel Bruno Sony Pictures has confirmed the plan, and indie theaters "are lining up" to show North Korea's least-favorite movie while CEO Michael Lynton is trying to get the widest release possible. Citing anonymous sources, several outlets have reported the plans include a video-on-demand release, and will be announced publicly later today.
Update: Sony Pictures has released a statement confirming a "limited theatrical release" on Thursday, but so far has not provided a list of theaters where the movie will be shown, or if any video-on-demand release is a part of the plan. According to Lynton the studio never gave up on releasing the movie, and "we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience." President Barack Obama has chimed in again, with a statement applauding the decision. Now we're faced with the toughest question of all: Did we actually want to see this movie?
Update 2: The movie will be released online! At 1PM ET today on YouTube, Xbox and Sony's website. You can get all the details here, but if you prefer the theatrical experience a list of theaters is posted right here.
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES LIMITED THEATRICAL RELEASE OF THE INTERVIEW ON CHRISTMAS DAY
[Hollywood - December 23, 2014] Sony Pictures Entertainment today announced that The Interview will have a limited theatrical release in the United States on Christmas Day.
"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," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. "At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."
"I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.
We cannot imagine the pressures that have been affecting Sony, at all levels of the organization they have been under attack. Amidst this unwarranted chaos, they have regrouped and listened to the public, the government and the exhibition community and responded with resolve and determination. At 10:45 AM Sony bookers approved screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other arthouse and independent theaters across the country.
This is the best Christmas gift anyone could give us. We, both distributors and exhibitors, have collectively stood firm to our principles and for the right to freedom of expression.
Two days til Christmas, and I am proud to be an American
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
Breaking news: Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day. We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory- Tim League (@timalamo) December 23, 2014
Breaking Plaza News: The Interview will open Exclusive on 12/25 . The Plaza will be one of the few theaters in the nation to open the film .- Plaza Atlanta (@PlazaAtlanta) December 23, 2014