'INTERVIEW' IN THE 'BURBS See It on Big, Little Screens Suburban Theaters, Streaming Services Offer N. Korea Comedy Movie: Online Rental Available for $5.99 Movie: Online Rental Is Available for $5.99

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 25, 2014 | Go to article overview

'INTERVIEW' IN THE 'BURBS See It on Big, Little Screens Suburban Theaters, Streaming Services Offer N. Korea Comedy Movie: Online Rental Available for $5.99 Movie: Online Rental Is Available for $5.99


Byline: Doug T. Graham dgraham@dailyherald.com By Doug T. Graham dgraham@dailyherald.com

After a week of international controversy and a healthy dose of self-censorship, suddenly, "The Interview" is everywhere.

To two suburban theaters, the comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un came under cover of darkness in a nondescript package, overnighted from Sony Pictures.

For the rest of the country, it was made available for rental at noon on Christmas Eve through a variety of digital platforms.

The first showing of "The Interview" in a suburban movie theater was at midnight at the Buffalo Grove Theaters, 120 McHenry Road in Buffalo Grove, followed by another show there at 10 a.m. today.

The Hollywood Blvd., 1001 W. 75th St. in Woodridge, will begin showing "The Interview" at 4:30 p.m. today, and again at 6:45 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Debbie Benjamin, the owner of the Buffalo Grove Theatres, said she always intended on showing the film.

"We feel that if someone wants to see it, they have the right to see it," Benjamin said. "(Our decision) had nothing to do with the controversy."

Benjamin said the response from their

regulars had been overwhelmingly positive. Almost as if to prove her point, Benjamin was interrupted several times during her Wednesday afternoon interview with the Daily Herald by customers who wanted to buy tickets to the midnight show.

At the Hollywood Blvd. theaters in Woodridge, co-owner Mike Moore said they got a call from their booking agent on Tuesday, who said Sony was putting out feelers to see if any theaters in the Chicago area wanted to screen the movie.

"As soon as we had the opportunity, we jumped on it," Moore said.

Moore said he felt that not showing the movie would be caving in to terrorism.

"I believe that in this country, we do not do that," Moore said.

Moore said their customers have been buying lots of tickets since they became available on Tuesday.

Altogether about 300 independent movie theaters nationwide will show "The Interview" today.

The digital platforms that are making the movie available include Google Play, YouTube Movies and Microsofts Xbox Video. For online customers, the movie costs $5.99 to stream.

Sony announced the news just one day after reversing a previous decision not to show the film at all after hackers threatened moviegoers with violence.

The decision not to release the film was widely criticized, including by President Barack Obama.

"It has always been Sonys intention to have a national platform on which to release this film," said Sony Pictures chair and CEO Michael Lynton in a statement Wednesday. "Negotiations with digital providers began last Wednesday, and, as of this morning the film will be available in around 300 independently owned theaters starting Thursday.

"We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for The Interview. It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech. We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day."

Benjamin said Buffalo Grove Theatres odd show times for "The Interview" are because she gave the screen time to another movie after Sony initially canceled the release. After Sony reversed its decision, Benjamin didnt have any open screens.

From Dec. 25 through Jan. 1, the Buffalo Grove Theaters will show the movie at midnight and 10:15 a.m. On Jan. 2 they will add it to their regular schedule.

The unusual release marks one of the first times a major studio release will be shown simultaneously in theaters and video on demand. Usually, larger studio films arent made available on digital platforms for at least a few months after the initial theatrical release, to ensure maximizing theater box office. …

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