Sony Pictures Entertainment said Tuesday it will release "The Interview" in select theaters on Christmas Day, an abrupt reversal after the movie company said last week it would shelve the controversial satire indefinitely. "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," Michael Lynton, CEO of Sony Entertainment, said in a statement. "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." Independent movie theaters based in Austin, Atlanta and Scottsdale, Arizona, confirmed Tuesday they plan to be among the first in the nation to screen the comedy, which depicts a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
It was just four days ago that President Obama, responding to Sony Entertainment's decision to pull distribution of "The Interview," asserted that the movie studio had made a mistake.
Fortunately, some mistakes can be undone.
It's obviously not lost on Sony that recent developments have generated more conversation about this film than any marketing campaign could ever dream of, and the odds are roughly 100% that the audience for the movie will be far larger than it otherwise would have been before the international incident.
White House officials today responded positively to Sony's announcement "As the president made clear, we are a country that believes in free speech, and the right of artistic expression," spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters. "The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome."
It's a safe bet the political world's embrace of this movie will expand now in the wake of Sony's reversal, which also wouldn't have happened for a movie with a sub-par Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Dec. 23, 201404:49