So was all the hoopla about THE INTERVIEW a fake? A scam?
No one knows for sure at least for now, but it sure created a lot of buzz. It’s quite possible that North Korean computer hackers were responsible. The portly North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un would have it done just because it offended him. The reac tion may not have been what he expected. The threats were probably hyperbole but theatres buckled under causing Sony to pull the film. Now as we have seen some 300 theatres did show the film so obviously Sony decided not to go hard case on the edict.
Cinemas showed poor judgement in pulling the film because this set a bad precedent. It means that they will cave in in the future if others threaten them. This of course will cause a change in the type of films made but worst of all it shows terrorists that terror will work thus causing more terror to rear it’s ugly head more often. This is bad, bad…bad.
Here are two articles to give you more info.
Senior Film and Media Reporter
Sony Cancels Theatrical Release for ‘The Interview’ on Christmas
With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.”
U.S. officials have reportedly linked a massive cyber attack against Sony to North Korea, which is at the center of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy.
“We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
In announcing the decision to cancel the holiday debut, Sony also hit back at the hackers who threatened movie theaters and moviegoers and who have terrorized the studio and its employees for weeks.
“Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like,” the statement reads.
A few hours after making the announcent, a studio spokesman said that Sony had “no further plans” to release the comedy, either on VOD or DVD.
“The Interview” centers on a hapless television host who is recruited to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The country has condemned the film and some cyber-security experts believe that it played a role in the hacking attack on the studio. North Korea has denied involvement in the attacks.
Rogen and Franco star in the picture, which cost $42 million to produce.
Sony has been reeling for weeks since hackers broke into the studio’s computer system in November and stole internal documents, email messages, film budgets, spreadsheets detailing top executive salaries and the social security numbers of thousands of employees. The documents and records were subsequently leaked online, setting off a firestorm of media coverage.
Tuesday’s message accompanied another data dump. It threatened violence on theaters that showed “The Interview” and people who attend screenings.
“The world will be full of fear,” the message reads. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”
In response, exhibition industry lobbying arm the National Association of Theatre Owners said its members must decide individually whether to release the picture and Sony said it would respect theater owners’ decision not to exhibit “The Interview.” That set off a cascade of cancellations.
The bulk of the country’s 10 largest theater chains — a group that includes AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Carmike and Southern Theatres — announced they would delay showing the picture or would drop it altogether. In statements, many of the theater chains suggested that Sony’s lack of confidence in the film prompted their decision.
Regal, for instance, said its decision was “due to the wavering support of the film ‘The Interview’ by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats.”
Sony was more conciliatory even as it said exhibitor defections motivated its decision.
“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatergoers,” the studio’s statement read.
Bruce Nash, founder of box office site TheNumbers, said that Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for moviegoing and is particularly strong for family films. Any perceived danger or threat might have depressed ticket sales.
“It was never going to be one of the big films of Christmas and clearly chains are going to be concerned about making sure people feel comfortable bringing their children to ‘Annie,’ ‘Into the Woods’ or ‘Night at the Museum,” said Nash.
FROM GEORGE CLOONEY
‘Nobody stood up’: George Clooney attacks media and Hollywood over Sony hack fallout
Actor and director, who had emails exposed by the hack on Sony, said media ‘abdicated its real duty’ when reporting the attacks, and that ‘we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane’
George Clooney has spoken of his frustrations with the press and his Hollywood peers at failing to contain the scandal around The Interview, which Sony has pulled from cinema release as well as home-video formats.
Sony’s decision came after a hacking group, Guardians of Peace, first leaked a vast cache of Sony data, and then threatened terrorist action against cinemas showing the film. The group, believed to be linked to North Korea, are angered by the film which depicts an assassination plot against the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.
Clooney, in an interview with Deadline, said that he hoped The Interview would be released in some format, even if just online: “Do whatever you can to get this movie out. Not because everybody has to see the movie, but because I’m not going to be told we can’t see the movie. That’s the most important part. We cannot be told we can’t see something by Kim Jong-un, of all fucking people … we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane.”
He turned his anger first to the media, saying “a good portion of the press abdicated its real duty” in reporting the hack: “With just a little bit of work, you could have found out that it wasn’t just probably North Korea; it was North Korea … It’s a serious moment in time that needs to be addressed seriously, as opposed to frivolously.”
But he was also frustrated that his peers in the film industry wouldn’t sign a petition he created to rally against the hackers’ demands. “All that it is basically saying is, we’re not going to give in to a ransom. As we watched one group be completely vilified, nobody stood up. Nobody took that stand,” Clooney said. “Nobody wanted to be the first to sign on. Now, this isn’t finger-pointing on that. This is just where we are right now, how scared this industry has been made.”
He added that the consequences of the hack, and Sony’s decision, were just beginning to be understood. “This is a situation we are going to have to come to terms with, a new paradigm and a new way of handling our business. Because this could happen to an electric company, a car company, a newsroom. It could happen to anybody … Understand what is going on right now, because the world just changed on your watch, and you weren’t even paying attention.”
He joins others who voiced their dismay at Sony’s decision, including Stephen King, Judd Apatow and Aaron Sorkin. Rob Lowe, who has a small role in The Interview, compared Sony to British prime minister Neville Chamberlain and his capitulation to Nazi Germany before the second world war.
Clooney was one of the Hollywood stars embarrassed by emails being leaked as part of the hack. Conversations between him and Sony executives showed his anxiety over the middling reception for his film The Monuments Men, with Clooney writing: “I fear I’ve let you all down. Not my intention. I apologize. I’ve just lost touch … Who knew? Sorry. I won’t do it again.”