| Lisa Richwine |
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sony Pictures Entertainment added more viewing options for its provocative comedy “The Interview”, making the film available through US pay television operators and nearly doubling the number of independent theatres that will show the movie.
The film, blamed for triggering a massive cyber attack on Sony’s movie studio, will also be sold through Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s digital on-demand service, Vudu, and on Sony’s PlayStation Network, Sony said in a statement on Wednesday.
On December 17, Sony cancelled the Christmas Day release of “The Interview”, a farcical story starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as journalists recruited by the CIA to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after hackers threatened violence against movie theatres and major theatre chains refused to show it.
Following days of criticism from Hollywood celebrities and President Barack Obama, Sony struck deals to launch the film in 331 indepen-dent theatres and through online distributors, such as Google Inc’s YouTube Movies and Google Play.
After the film earned US$15 million from 2 million sales or rentals over four days, Apple Inc added the movie to its iTunes store, where it ranked as the top-selling movie on Wednesday.
Also on Wednesday, US cable, satellite and telecommunications providers began making the “The Interview” available to rent through their video on-demand and pay-per-view services, Sony said. The providers include Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc, Cox Communications, AT&T Inc’s U-verse, Verizon Communications Inc’s Fios and DirecTV. Vudu and Verizon customers also can buy the film.