'The Interview' sells out at midnight showings

The controversial film "The Interview" opened at a smattering of independent theaters at midnight last night, with most venues selling out the screening. Many patrons said they might not ordinarily have gone to see the film, but went in order to show their support for free speech.

Reuters:

"The Interview," the Sony Pictures film about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, opened in midnight screenings in a smattering of U.S. cinemas on Christmas Day, drawing moviegoers who said they supported the studio's decision to stand up to efforts to censor the low-budget comedy.

Seth Rogen, who co-stars in the film with James Franco, and co-director Evan Goldberg surprised patrons by appearing at the sold-out 12:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) screening of the movie at a theater in Los Angeles where they briefly thanked fans for their support.

The crowd outside the theater, holding cups of warm cider as they waited for the movie to begin, said they came to show their support for freedom of speech and freedom of choice.

The planned release of the $44 million film triggered a virtual ping pong-reaction over the past week. The Sony Corp unit originally canceled the release after it became the target last month of the most destructive cyberattack ever on a U.S. company.

The United States blamed the attacks on North Korea.

The movie, which is playing in theaters in major metropolitan areas as well as in smaller cities ranging from Bangor, Maine, to Jasper, Indiana, features Rogen and Franco as journalists who get recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader.

Major movie chains had refused to release the film after threats of attacks on theaters and audiences by hackers. The scheduled screenings in U.S. cinemas do not include major chains.

The film can also be seen on some on-demand cable outlets as well as several places online:

"It was a great movie, it was really funny, they did a fantastic job. It was really great that Seth came out, Seth Rogen himself came out and greeted everybody. Hey, go America," said Tom Sopit.

The film is also available online in the United States on Google Inc's

Multiple commenters on Googleblog said they believed the controversy over the film would drive much bigger audiences than it otherwise would have drawn.

"Thanks N.Korea so many more people will now see it because of what you did!" Gian Carlo Barretto, an IT professional at a Manhattan law firm, said in a posting on the blog.

Plans for wider distribution of the film are being made, although it probably won't be seen as widely as Sony originally wanted. Still, the screenings of the film represent a victory for free speech - even though it's not quite as big a triumph as it should have been.

The controversial film "The Interview" opened at a smattering of independent theaters at midnight last night, with most venues selling out the screening. Many patrons said they might not ordinarily have gone to see the film, but went in order to show their support for free speech.

Reuters:

"The Interview," the Sony Pictures film about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, opened in midnight screenings in a smattering of U.S. cinemas on Christmas Day, drawing moviegoers who said they supported the studio's decision to stand up to efforts to censor the low-budget comedy.

Seth Rogen, who co-stars in the film with James Franco, and co-director Evan Goldberg surprised patrons by appearing at the sold-out 12:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) screening of the movie at a theater in Los Angeles where they briefly thanked fans for their support.

The crowd outside the theater, holding cups of warm cider as they waited for the movie to begin, said they came to show their support for freedom of speech and freedom of choice.

The planned release of the $44 million film triggered a virtual ping pong-reaction over the past week. The Sony Corp unit originally canceled the release after it became the target last month of the most destructive cyberattack ever on a U.S. company.

The United States blamed the attacks on North Korea.

The movie, which is playing in theaters in major metropolitan areas as well as in smaller cities ranging from Bangor, Maine, to Jasper, Indiana, features Rogen and Franco as journalists who get recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader.

Major movie chains had refused to release the film after threats of attacks on theaters and audiences by hackers. The scheduled screenings in U.S. cinemas do not include major chains.

The film can also be seen on some on-demand cable outlets as well as several places online:

"It was a great movie, it was really funny, they did a fantastic job. It was really great that Seth came out, Seth Rogen himself came out and greeted everybody. Hey, go America," said Tom Sopit.

The film is also available online in the United States on Google Inc's

Multiple commenters on Googleblog said they believed the controversy over the film would drive much bigger audiences than it otherwise would have drawn.

"Thanks N.Korea so many more people will now see it because of what you did!" Gian Carlo Barretto, an IT professional at a Manhattan law firm, said in a posting on the blog.

Plans for wider distribution of the film are being made, although it probably won't be seen as widely as Sony originally wanted. Still, the screenings of the film represent a victory for free speech - even though it's not quite as big a triumph as it should have been.