Google Play, YouTube Movies and Microsoft’s Xbox Video will all stream Sony’s “The Interview” starting Christmas Eve in a unique theatrical and video-on-demand release for the controversial comedy that has now rallied wide support.
The studio confirmed the video-on-demand release on Wednesday, a day after announcing it had reversed a decision to pull the Seth Rogen film from theaters. The studio has also set up its own website where the movie can be streamed, www.seethe interview.com.
The studio said:
As of 10:00 a.m. PST, the film will be available to rent in HD on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and the dedicated website www.seetheinterview.com at a price of $5.99. The film can also be purchased in HD for $14.99.
Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement: “I want to thank Google and Microsoft for helping make this a reality. This release represents our commitment to our filmmakers and free speech. While we couldn’t have predicted the road this movie traveled to get to this moment, I’m proud our fight was not for nothing and that cyber criminals were not able to silence us. “
In addition to those three streaming platforms, Sony set up www.SeetheInterview.com: “In addition, The Interview is available at the dedicated website www.seetheinterview.com, which is sponsored by Sony Pictures and powered by Kernel and with payments through Stripe, a secure payment platform,” the studio said.
YouTube is apparently getting into “The Interview” spirit, tentatively agreeing to distribute the Sony film on Christmas Day.
CNN’s Brian Stelter reports YouTube and Sony have struck a tentative deal to make “The Interview” available for rental on YouTube on Christmas Day. The online offering would occur simultaneously as 300 independent theaters around the country show the film.
The deal with YouTube is reportedly not exclusive and can fall through at anytime.
On Tuesday, TheWrap exclusively reported Sony would release “The Interview” in theaters and on VOD.
This wide scale release occurs after Sony pulled the plug on the film last week, after multiple theater chains announced they would not exhibit the film.
President Barack Obama labeled the studio’s decision a mistake in a Friday press conference, which also named North Korea as responsible for the hacks.
Rogen has been outspoken about the Nov. 24 hacking of and subsequent threats against Sony and sharply critical of those he felt exploited the leaked Sony data uploaded by hackers, but Franco has been largely silent.