'The Interview' made available on digital platforms

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony is making "The Interview" available on a variety of digital platforms this afternoon.

Streaming partners include Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft's Xbox Video and a separate Sony website.

The film about a plot to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong Un generated threats from hackers to attack theaters screening the movie. That prompted Sony to cancel the theatrical release, as major chains dropped plans to show the film.

The studio reversed course yesterday, after much criticism, announcing a limited release in about 300 independently owned theaters.

In announcing the digital on demand release, Sony Pictures chair and CEO Michael Lynton says it was "essential" for the studio to release "The Interview" after what he describes as "an assault" on the company and its employees "by those who wanted to stop free speech."

%@AP Links

058-a-18-(James Wallace, creative manager, Alamo Drafthouse, in AP interview Tuesday)-"freedom of expression"-Alamo Drafthouse creative manager James Wallace says he's glad the public outcry to show "The Interview" worked. ((note length of cut)) (24 Dec 2014)

<<CUT *058 (12/24/14)££ 00:18 "freedom of expression"

060-a-16-(Robert Saucedo (SOW'-seh-toh), Houston market programming director, Alamo Drafthouse, in AP interview Tuesday)-"to see it"-Alamo Drafthouse Houston market programming director Robert Saucedo says the company he works for supports creative freedom. (24 Dec 2014)

<<CUT *060 (12/24/14)££ 00:16 "to see it"

061-a-06-(Robert Saucedo (SOW'-seh-toh), Houston market programming director, Alamo Drafthouse, in AP interview Tuesday)-"and acting appropriately"-Alamo Drafthouse Houston market programming director Robert Saucedo says security for the showings of "The Interview" is being addressed. (24 Dec 2014)

<<CUT *061 (12/24/14)££ 00:06 "and acting appropriately"

APPHOTO WX110: FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2014, file photo, a South Korean army soldier walks near a TV screen showing an advertisement of Sony Picture's "The Interview," at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. It seems everyone has a theory about who really hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. Despite President Barack Obama's conclusion that North Korea was the culprit, the Internet's newest game of whodunit continues. Top theories include disgruntled Sony insiders, hired hackers, other foreign governments or Internet hooligans. Even some experts are undecided, with questions about why the communist state would steal and leak gigabytes of data, email threats to some Sony employees and their families then threaten moviegoers who planned to watch "The Interview" on Christmas. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File) (22 Dec 2014)

<<APPHOTO WX110 (12/22/14)££

APPHOTO FLJAJ101: Shana David-Massatt puts up the movie poster for "The Interview" at the Sun-Ray Cinema on Tuesday, December 23, 2014, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Sun-Ray is among the 250 theaters nationwide who were committed to following through with scheduled screenings. The film will play 11 nights in a row starting Christmas Eve at 11:55. (AP Photo/Florida Times-Union, Bruce Lipsky) (23 Dec 2014)

<<APPHOTO FLJAJ101 (12/23/14)££

APPHOTO NYET201: FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2014 file photo, actors Seth Rogen, right, and James Franco attend the premiere of the Sony Pictures' film "The Interview" in Los Angeles.Sony Pictures Entertainment announced Tuesday a limited theatrical release of "The Interview" beginning Thursday, putting back into the theaters the comedy that prompted an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said Tuesday that Seth Rogen's North Korea farce "will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day." He said Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File) (11 Dec 2014)

<<APPHOTO NYET201 (12/11/14)££

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