‘The Interview’ Gets Digital Release on Google Before Arriving at Movie Theaters, Ushering In A New Standard For Movie Releases Worldwide

After a long rollercoaster of ups and downs brought on by a disturbing hacking incident involving Sony and their controversial Seth Rogen film The Interview, Sony finally came to an agreement with Google to release the film digitally. Through Google Play and YouTube Movies, people can now rent or buy The Interview, never before done for a movie of this caliber.

On Google’s official blog, they released a statement announcing the partnership and what it means to them, personally.

“Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we’d be able to make their movie, “The Interview,” available online. We’d had a similar thought and were eager to help—though given everything that’s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.”

“Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).”

Starting today at 10 a.m. PST in the United States, anyone can rent or buy The Interview from Google. Furthermore, the movie will also be available to Xbox Video customers from The Interview official website.

Also read: BitTorrent Inc. Offers Digital Release Bundle of ‘The Interview’ Film to Sony

Sony, Google and The Interview Setting Precedent For Future Releases

The Interview Sony Google Seth RogenWhile Netflix is currently the one first thought of for digital releases, Google may be able to set precedent for large-scale movies being released for people to watch at home instead of at the movie theater.

If anyone has been to a movie theater in the last ten years, they know there’s plenty to groan about. Ticket price skyrocketed worldwide; concessions cost far too much and the patrons are either loud or obnoxious, digging through their candy bags during quiet scenes or playing on their cell phone. According to many hardcore movie lovers, the theater is turning into a place where you view a movie to get the full experience, but groan at the thought attending.

Even Quentin Tarintino, famed writer and director of Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, thinks the death of the movie theater is coming. At a press conference from Cannes, Tarintino said the screening of movies on digital projection rather than film is like watching TV in public.

Yeah as far as I’m concerned, digital projection and DCPs is the death of cinema as I know it. It’s not even about shooting your film on film or shooting your film on digital, the fact that most films now are not presented in 35mm means that the war is lost and digital projections — that’s just television in public. Apparently the whole world is okay with television in public but what I knew as cinema is dead.

While streaming at home isn’t watching a movie on 35mm film, Tarintino has a point about the degeneration of the movie theater industry. The movie theater is something that film lovers could circumvent if they were allowed to view movies in their homes by digital release. Although it wouldn’t be the quality that hardcore filmmakers and lovers prefer, it would be a more comfortable experience in all.

Not only is it comfortable, it’s also safe. The hackers that attacked Sony threatened attacks on movie theaters screening The Interview, claiming to be as devastating as 9/11. The threats caused the theaters to pull the movie and brought about the entire conversation about digital release in the first place.

If people are scared to go watch The Interview in public, they can now watch it from the safety of their home. They can buy their popcorn at a reasonable price, dim the lights, put it on their TV and watch it in perfect silence. Sony, Google and The Interview might have just opened the digital release world wide-open.

Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website, claygillespie.com.