In what is the oddest, most controversial and most publicized film debut in modern times, Sony’s ‘The Interview’ comedy started streaming online today via YouTube, Google Play, and Xbox Video.
The cost of celebrating freedom of expression, and hopefully enjoying an above-average comedy, starts at $5.99 to rent, and up to $14.99 to own.
Sony’s own website, SeeTheInterview.com, also offers the film. Online payments provider Stripe handles transactions for the Sony site.
Reuters reports that Google weighed the security implications of screening the Sony Pictures film, “The Interview,” a comedy that depicts the assassination of North Korea’s leader.
A massive cyberattack against Sony this month made headlines, revealed celebrity-related emails and other proprietary data belonging to Sony Pictures. Sony had decided to pull the film from wide release on Christmas Day following threats of violence from the hackers — which U.S. officials claim were acting on behalf of North Korea — at theaters showing the film. Sony’s decision to cancel the premiere drew harsh criticism from big names in Hollywood, the general public and President Obama.
But Sony this week reversed course, allowing the showing of the comedy at a limited number of venues, in addition to its widespread online release.
Google Play is Google’s online store for apps, music and movies available on Android devices. It’s also available on iPhone, iPad, Roku, Nexus TV, and Chromecast.