The controversial film we’re all waiting for [here in New Zealand and Australia] is of course, The Interview.
I’m sure you’ve heard all about it. Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the politcal satire comedy is causing quite a stir as the basis of the film is about the assassination of Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea.
Having worked in a cinema leading up to the release of The Interview, I came to hear of the general LACK of buzz the film was receiving (before it’s release was postponed).
I heard people say – or maybe I just heard myself say – that it was going to be a typical Rogen film: crude, immature humour identical to that of This is the End, Pineapple Express, 40 Year-Old Virgin…
I honestly didn’t think many were super keen to see it.
That was, of course, until Sony Pictures got hacked.
The US FBI determined that the “North Korean government is responsible for these actions.”
Apparently the major cinema chains pulled out and said they weren’t going to show the film. So the release was cancelled.
Suddenly, this film was the only thing we wanted to see! By telling us we can’t have it, makes us want it more.
That’s when Sony Pictures released the film for digital download, and made a record $15 million! It was the top online film ever. I wonder how much they would have made on opening night in the cinemas if there was no controversy or cancellations?
It begs the question: is this a turn in how we watch films, particularly new releases?
If we had the choice, would we bother going to the cinema at all? A loud audience, over-priced popcorn and day-old hotdogs… Why would we? We could just microwave popcorn and sit in the comfort of our beds watching new releases on our tablets.
If premieres meant a digital download rather than a cinema ticket, what would the industry look like?
No cinemas. Imagine that.
I’m sure we’re nearing the point of having hundreds of files on our laptops instead of wall-to-wall DVDs. Maybe we will invite friends over to each other’s flats for the film premieres.
As a side note, does this mean we are becoming independent, reclusive, or just plain impatient?
Very interesting! It just goes to show that ‘they’ can cancel the release of movies, but a viewership is still inevitable, if not more inevitable.
Perhaps The Interview is the wake-up call the industry needs. I think we’re ready to jump into the next phase of movie-watching: what we want, when we want it. Even if it does mean the downfall of cinemas.
What do you reckon? Will the big screens stay no matter what?
(I bet you’re busting to see The Interview now, aren’t you!)