The Interview wasn’t a great film. It wasn’t a good film. But it was a film that didn’t go unnoticed. For a bizarre moment Sony were threatened by unspecified groups to not release the film or have cinemas blown up. Sony naturally didn’t want to take chances.
After public outcry, Sony came around to the idea of giving a limited release. According to BBC news report on 29th December 2014, the film made back 15 million dollars out of 44 million dollar in the space of four days. Part of the limited release was limited cinema. But another part was releasing it online. It became one of the most downloadable films of all time in such a limited time space. It just begs the question. Is this the way forward?
Studios complain that pirating is wrecking the film industry. But this is unexpected success for Sony shows there is another avenue. People will always flock to the cinemas for the major films. Hunger Games, Avengers, Batman. But for the smaller comedies like The Interview. Studios could release online and if there is a pickup, proceed to a broader release in the cinemas. Instead of a broad release and fighting for leftovers from the blockbusters and Oscar hunters. This avenue could be a dry-run for the smaller films. The interview being a mediocre film probably would have fallen flat on broad release. Instead it has done better, admittedly not a whole lot better.
We should be thankful to the North Koreans for stumbling across this, sorry the “unspecified groups” we should thank for this.