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LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Interview" was never supposed to be a paradigm-shifting film. But unusual doesn't even begin to describe the series of events that transpired over the past few weeks, culminating in the truly unprecedented move by a major studio to release a film in theaters and on digital platforms simultaneously.
Egypt has banned the Hollywood biblical epic movie "Exodus: Gods and Kings" citing historical inaccuracies, the culture minister said Friday, a day after a similar move by Morocco. The film relates how Moses helped Israelite slaves flee persecution in Egypt under the Pharaoh Ramses by parting the Red Sea to let them cross safely. Culture Minister Gaber Asfour told AFP that Ridley Scott's blockbuster was rife with mistakes, including an apparent claim that "Moses and the Jews built the pyramids".
The online gaming networks for Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox consoles -- hot gifts this Christmas -- have gone dark in what hackers said was a coordinated attack. The outage started Christmas Day and went into Friday, PlayStation and Xbox said on their Twitter feeds, adding that they were working to restore service. The name is the same used by a group of hackers that has targeted Sony in the past, though it was not possible to verify the Twitter account's authenticity.
A fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un drew throngs of moviegoers, as it became an unlikely symbol of free speech thanks to hacker threats that nearly scuppered its release. The future of Sony's "The Interview" had been in doubt after the entertainment giant said it was canceling the release following an embarrassing cyber attack on its corporate network and threats against patrons. I think it's something important, showing the freedom in the United States," said Adolfo Loustalot as he queued up to buy tickets outside "Los Feliz 3" cinema in Los Angeles. The film was also available on a variety of digital platforms, including Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and on a Sony website.
Morocco has banned cinemas from showing the biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings" just one day before the Hollywood blockbuster was due to be screened, media reports said Thursday. It was unclear why officials decided to ban the movie which had been given the green light by the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM), which implements all rules concerning the industry. Theatre managers said they received "verbal" instructions from the CCM not to begin screening the movie as planned on Wednesday, according to news website media24. Others said CCM officials had informed them of the ban in person.
Entertainment giant Sony streamed "The Interview," the movie that has outraged North Korea for lampooning dictator Kim Jong-Un, giving an early online Christmas present to US viewers. It was being distributed on Google's YouTube for a $5.99 rental fee, on the Google Play app for Android devices and on a dedicated website, seetheinterview.com. A bawdy, expletive-laden tale full of sexual innuendo and scatological humor, the film's future had been in doubt after Sony said it was canceling the release after an embarrassing cyber-attack on its corporate network and threats against moviegoers. The US has blamed the hack attack on North Korea, and President Barack Obama has threatened reprisals.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amid a swell of controversy, backlash, confusion and threats, Sony Pictures broadly released "The Interview" online Wednesday — an unprecedented counterstroke against the hackers who spoiled the Christmas opening of the comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.