The cancellation of the theatrical release of Sony’s latest film The Interview starring James Franco & Seth Rogen, was the last strike in the Sony hacks done by the “Guardians Of Peace”, but yesterday saw the widespread online release of the movie, and some theatrical releases as well. The movie, a basic Rogen/Franco comedy about a TV journalist and his producer that travel to North Korea for the very first ever interview with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and their attempt of his assassination, per the request of the C.I.A., struck some negative chords throughout the world as theaters got threatened and the movie almost didn’t see the light of day.
Or did it.
The movie itself was well done, with many of the scenes filmed in British Columbia, it didn’t have much of a box office to claim, but overall it was just good.
If it came out in theaters as planned, it would have scored 6.5-7/10 like most of Rogen & Franco’s comedies together. But, with the scandal/controversy surrounding the film, it’s profits probably sky-rocketed with it’s online release, past it’s original box office expectations.
But the only thing that Americans want to do more than anything else is something that someone says they can’t.Look, the movie stirred up enough controversy and news that everyone on the internet wanted to watch it, by the time it came out. Most people wanted to see it to explain why North Korea wouldn’t want them to, and the others just wanted to see it because they like Seth Rogen and James Franco movies, nonetheless, social media (Facebook, Twitter & more) were consumed witjh comments and complaints about The Interview.
To add to the celebrity complaints that movie wasn’t going to be released, there were even petitions to get the movie shown at their theaters and the finger was constantly pointed at North Korea to blame… All while The Interview was the most talked about thing on Twitter with over 100,000 tweets about it in less than a month, making social media it’s biggest advertising platform.
What if for a second, you looked at this with the point of view that the online release of The Interview was one of the greatest PR moves in the last decade?
Heck, the Sony leaks got so bad that Sony Execs and employees were getting looked at about leaked e-mails that poked fun at Angelina Jolie, talked about possible movie crossovers, and after the cinema bomb threats, U.S. President Barack Obama was talking about The Interview on live TV, there’s literally nobody on the planet that would have more of an influence than him.
Look, I’m not saying the hacks or even the threats were staged or fake (but if it goes that far, that would be impressive dedication), but for a solid couple weeks, almost everyone in the Northern hemisphere was talking about Sony’s latest comedy. And most of those people streamed it online because there was a small chance that they wouldn’t have been able to see it because the content was so offensive that an actual dictator wanted to shut down the movie entirely…
But what if Sony just took advantage of the situation and cashed in the biggest blockbuster bust of 2014?
After watching The Interview, I would have to say at best, it was a 7/10 – a juvenile political comedy in which James Franco & Seth Rogen take down the North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, but I would have to bet that Sony wouldn’t have had nearly the numbers they did after all the controversy.
Sony probably tripled their profits by releasing the movie on YouTube Movies, Google Play, (Sony’s) PlayStation Network & Xbox Live by cutting down the price (from the avg. $12 theater admission price) of the admission ticket, brought the cinema to everyone with curiosity and internet access.
The movie has been the headline in the news for weeks, with controversy from the topic of the movie, the Sony leaks, the cinema bomb-threats and then finally the online release, which led to complaints about freedom of speech being ignored.
It got to a point where people were demanding to have the movie released. Probably the first time in a while where people demanded beyond reason that a Seth Rogen comedy be released. Either Sony pushed this to their favour or they got insanely lucky…
After seeing the movie, I really have to ask: “What was the fuss about?” The movie was mildly exposing North Korean rumours – Kim Jong-Un is a ruthless dictator, viewed as a god by his people, who he’s starving, with fake grocery stores and a population of people that are looking for a future without him. Oh and also that he can speak with Dolphins, and doesn’t pee or poop – that part’s weirdly real. But all the movie did was showcase some of the ridiculous things that the North Koreans are going through…
The only things that would offend the real Kim Jong-Un would be that James Franco blows him up (spoiler) and that they discredited some of the ridiculous myths about the North Korean leader.
The movie itself was a little funnier than expected but, to be honest, had more to do with mocking the intelligence of TV journalists & their inability to report serious news, also a lot of honey-potting – a technique in which you gain trust via embracing the others interests and abusing it to accommodate your own plans.
But overall, it was a comedy and should be viewed as one. I would say, it’s worth a watch purely for entertainment, but not yet. Let the Sony dust settle and wait for it on NetFlix maybe.
I enjoyed it, but I fear that I believe a lot of the movie’s actual success in getting domestic and worldwide gross earnings had a larger hand pushing it to the more profitable side…
Do you think that the movie’s online release could have been staged/pushed for? Any thoughts on the controversy around the film? Have you seen it/Are you going to see it/Are you waiting until it comes out on DVD?
Let us know below!
12/24/2014 – 1:41 am