Date
24 September 2017
A man holds an American flag as moviegoers line up at the Silent Movie Theatre for a midnight screening of The Interview in Los Angeles. Photo: Reuters
A man holds an American flag as moviegoers line up at the Silent Movie Theatre for a midnight screening of The Interview in Los Angeles. Photo: Reuters

Full houses, no attacks, as The Interview screens in US cinemas

Sony’s controversial comedy The Interview packed US cinemas in limited release Christmas Day.

No incidents were reported at the screenings of the film — which features a plot to kill North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — despite threats of violence from a hacker group, Bloomberg reported.

The movie, which opened in more than 300 locations, was also available for rent and purchase on various websites. 

Filmgoers made a point to see The Interview on the big screen after major cinema chains dropped the movie because computer hackers linked by the FBI to North Korea threatened to attack cinemas that showed it, the report said.

Sony released the film to independent cinemas after drawing widespread criticism, including from US President Barack Obama, for its initial decision to shelve the Dec. 25 debut.

“We sold out all our screenings yesterday across the chain,” Christian Parkes, chief brand officer for Alamo Drafthouse, which operates 19 cinemas, told Bloomberg.

Hackers broke into Sony’s computer systems last month and released contracts, emails and other confidential data onto the internet. North Korea denied it was behind the cyberattack.

“US President Obama is the chief culprit,” the country’s National Defence Commission said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

When Sony Pictures said it would withdraw the film, “Obama urged it to unconditionally screen the movie,” the statement said.

Sony’s PlayStation Network suffered connection problems for a fourth day on Sunday after hackers attacked the video game network.

The company said service was gradually being restored, Reuters reported.

The hacker activist group known as Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility for disrupting the PlayStation Network and Microsoft Corp’s Xbox Live on Christmas Day. Service was restored to Xbox Live on Friday.

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CG/FL

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