Sony Pictures has expanded distribution of its controversial comedy film The Interview to include more theatres and video-on-demand platforms, after hackers threatened to attack cinemas screening the film.
From Friday, a total of 580 independent theatres will show The Interview, a madcap satire about a fictional CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Threats by hackers issued after a November cyberattack on Sony Pictures initially prompted the movie giant to cancel the film’s Christmas Day release, after many large US theatre chains got cold feet.
The United States has blamed North Korea for the cyberattack, but Pyongyang has denied any involvement.
The comedy, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, eventually opened on December 25 in more than 300 independent movie houses that offered to show the film after Sony came under fire for pulling it.
It was also made available last week on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and on a dedicated website, www.seetheinterview.com.
Sony said the film would now also be available either as video on demand or pay-per-view via major US cable and satellite providers including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Verizon FiOS.
The film price starts at $US5.99.
The Interview will also be available on Sony’s PlayStation network from Thursday.
‘We have always sought the widest possible distribution for The Interview, and want to thank our new partners for helping us make that happen,’ said Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton.
So far, the film has earned a combined $US18 million ($A19.48 million) in online rentals or purchases, as well as theatre ticket sales, since its release.