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Who is going to see 'The Interview' now?
Movie lovers have been thrown for a loop over the past week regarding Sony's new movie "The Interview," starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. Hackers from North Korea allegedly caught wind that the comedy would feature the assassination of the country's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and launched a cyber attack threatening violence to movie-goers.
Following the incident, several theaters announced they would not show the movie, which was set to be released on Christmas Day. After theaters began pulling the film, Sony announced that it too would broadly pull the film from screens, prompting a backlash from First Amendment advocates and even President Barack Obama.
"We cannot have a society in which some dictatorship someplace can start imposing censorship," Obama said, according to the New York Post. He added that the U.S. "would respond" to the acts of cybervandalism, Fox News reported.
Now, the current media buzz is that Sony will release "The Interview" online for free using their streaming service Crackle. It's still up in the air whether this is the official plan of the company. Even so, the film may not be released by the initial Christmas Day deadline. The real question on everyone's mind, however, is if Sony does release the movie, who will see it?
Controversy, politics and marketing
Since "The Interview" debacle began, some have made remarks about the scandal being an unintentional marketing ploy. With all the media and news attention, it's hard to argue that this film, which was once perhaps a blip on the radar, hasn't gained traction after the near-24-hour coverage from the press, celebrities, bloggers and even the president. Oftentimes, that limelight attention results in higher numbers at the box office.
A recent Opinion Outpost poll of 1,400 respondents asked how the recent controversy would affect movie-goers plans to see the film.
- 42 percent said they were not going to see the movie and still plan not to.
- 34 percent planned to see it beforehand and still plan to see it.
- 17 percent were not going to see it but now plan to after recent events.
- 7 percent said they planned to see the film but will now not because of the controversy.
Inevitably, the attention has changed respondents' minds, but there is a noteworthy segment of people who will actually be avoiding the movie because of the time it's spent in the limelight and the controversy it has caused.
In a move to spite the North Korean hackers, several theaters planned to show the 2004 comedy "Team America: World Police" in place of "The Interview" - a satirical film that focused on Kim Jong-Il as the main villain. However, according to a report by Deadline Hollywood, theaters in Cleveland, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas, have had to cancel those plans due to unforeseen circumstances. Cleveland's Capitol theater Tweeted that Paramount Pictures had canceled the showings.
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