Video Of The Week: The Interview

I think it’s hard to argue that this was not the video of the week. So I’m making it so.

There’s just something about a major length feature film being viewable (and embeddable) on the web on the same day as it hit the theaters. I think that’s a big deal.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Daniel Clough

    Haven’t watched it yet as I’m in the UK. Hope it gets released here soon.Did you like it?Also this screenshot is quite fitting, given your recent posts on global internet ;-).

    1. fredwilson

      yeah. i got the same one. but i installed Hola to change my IP address to a US one and was able to watch was funny at time. i particularly enjoyed the Eminem bit.

      1. LE

        When I see that company,, where it’s located, and who operates it, [1] I somehow feel it wouldn’t be a stretch if the service was tied in with Israeli Military Intelligence. Fit’s the purpose perfectly. [2] Great way to gather intel.Jackpot! Here is the founder’s other company, look at what they do: the Israeli’s were the ones who spun the centrifuges.[1] Israelis are both smart and devious.[2] If you are laughing I’m not joking. I have to point out that not only is it something I can see floating as an idea, but also as you know the more preposterous an idea the better cover it provides for it’s true purpose.

        1. awaldstein

          smart and devious as a cultural and national generality is just incorrect.

          1. LE

            I know you hate any kind of stereotyping. Unfortunately some of it is often correct. Correct enough to make a generalization and come to a conclusion such that I did. I also should have added “educated as well”. Educated is separate from “smart”. And saying “Israelis are” doesn’t mean “all Israelis are”. It means a large enough concentration to make some great things happen or to think creatively given the size of the country.Separately, on a personal note, my Dad in his business dealt with Israeli companies for many years. No love lost in those relationship they were super tough to deal with. But they had to be given the nature of what was going on in their country (60’s till the 80’s).

          2. awaldstein

            You can conclude whatever you choose to about anything.Stereotyping as regards to race, religion, political party, sexual preference, age or whatever–is always incorrect.Always the antithesis of understanding. Invariably the antidote to intelligent action.Understanding cultural and ethnic uniqueness has nothing to do with stereotyping it.To me–just bad stuff. Always.

      2. Andrew Kennedy

        NK officer: “sir, he honeydicked you.” KJU: “But I was honeydicking HIM!!!”– pretty funny in my book

    2. CH

      Learn how to use torrent sites/Tor.Fuck geolocataion…

  2. Matt A. Myers

    No mention of USV’s investment in VHX – “INTERNET VIDEO DISTRIBUTION FOR EVERYONE”? “Upload anything, set your price, sell everywhere.” 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      well i tried what i could to make that happen. didn’t happen for stupid legal reasons. i am very disappointed about that.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        That sounds really odd. Easily fixable by VHX for future opportunities?

        1. fredwilson


      2. LE

        I’m not seeing where that fits in with VHX’s current model as described on their website (not that they don’t cut different deals). Seems more targeted toward the types of projects featured in success stories here:…I don’t see at this pricing level how it’s mass market. I’d have to really really really want to watch something to pay those kind of prices. And that’s from someone who tends to be price insensitive (doesn’t look at price of items at supermarket).Publicity wise of course it would be a total win and good even if they took a loss on the offering. Btw they need to just go with which they have and redirects to .tv … they need to lose the .tv it gums up the pass along test.Really nice website and presentation.

        1. Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson

          I think it would have fit great for Sony to use VHX. Probably too many lawyers involved and Sony stuck in snail-mail lock down that week’s…

  3. John Pepper

    In too many ways to count it’s a big deal – technologically, politically, socially, you name it. Some positive, some maybe not… time will tell. Glad you encouraged us to watch it the day it came out… we did and it ended our xmas day with lots of belly-aching laughter.

  4. Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson

    Not quite viewable/embeddable. At least not for the international audience. Not for me here in Reykjavik.

    1. Dan

      Interesting that it also doesn’t work on mobile here in the US. Does anyone have insight into why they wouldn’t release on mobile?

      1. Allen Iverson (AI the real)

        Try to play it in your dreams. Dude,We are talking about theaters here and you whining about mobile,, I mean mobile, mobile, not theaters but mobile, it’s just a mobile, not a theater,. just mobile

      2. CJ

        You have to use the Youtube app to play it on Mobile. This is Sony we’re talking about, did you really think they’d make it easy for you? LOL

    2. Matt A. Myers

      Side note: Wow. Great domain. 🙂

      1. Gudjon Mar Gudjonsson

        Thanks Matt. Yes, OZ and should be easy to remember. 😉

  5. awaldstein

    Historically a really big deal.A trend or a blip? I think a trend possibly for a subsection of the releases.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Not a great example in reality for the amount of abnormal publicity it received. I haven’t watched it yet but if it has a feeling similar to Team America then I’m likely to.

    2. CJ

      The hack or the online pivot? The hack is a trend, the online pivot; less so. Companies are loathe to abandon control of distribution and only agree to do so as a last resort, even with all of the historical evidence staring them in the face.I think what we WILL see is smaller studios start to engage Netflix et. al and release there first as test runs to see if it’s sustainable. We’ll then see windowing where Netflix or Comcast or whoever foots some of the development costs or marketing costs in exchange for x day exclusivity which really just brings us right back to where we are.So yeah, I’m not sure that we’ve seen a change at all.

      1. awaldstein

        Maybe so.Sometimes showing what is possible is a tipping point. At lower economics it just may be more experiment and less aha moment.

    3. LE

      a subsection of the releasesSure the ones that the major distributors don’t care about. The ones, in part, that would play in art houses.

  6. William Mougayar

    Well, thanks Kim Jong-un for breaking Hollywood…maybe. There’s always some good out of a bad situation.Do we know what the online revenue numbers are so far?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      From quick over for estimates of torrent + download sites, at least 2 million+ free downloads; ISPs would have a better knowledge of total bandwidth used for the movie – paid and unpaid – not sure they’ll release that information fully or accurately.

    2. Elia Freedman

      I heard the number $1m bandied about, but don’t know the context except it was after day 1.

  7. Twain Twain

    Satire is one of the highest forms of intelligence and we should always celebrate our intelligence and its democratic and diverse expressions.Anyone who doesn’t understand that is still living in the Dark Ages.

  8. CJ

    I just can’t support Sony and I have no sympathy for them. Their stance on DRM, SOPA, backdooring SOPA with Local SOPA, rootkits on CD’s, they’ve supported and instigated illegal hacks against suspected file sharing with NO ramifications and on and on and on.From an IT guy perspective, they underpaid their workers, hired substandard engineers and created a company that prioritized office politics over domain expertise. THIS is what happens when you create that environment.I feel bad for the people who have had their information published by this hack but as a company I just can’t help but feel like they’ve gotten what they deserve here. They have arguably been one of the most evil companies when it comes to internet freedom aside from Comcast and Verizon and the company deserves this. #nosympathy

    1. Matt A. Myers

      You’ll love that they apparently included a song without permission and are being sued by the creator –…Sony just sounds badly managed with no accountability or responsibility along the chain. Sounds like a nightmare – especially if they’ve been trying to fix it but can’t get a handle on it.

      1. CJ

        They just think that they are above the law. They spend so much on lobbying and have so many Congresscritters in their pocket that they’ve been able to get away with some pretty dastardly things. They never even consider that THEY could possibly need sample clearance or that their actions could possible be illegal.

    2. LE

      Wow I 100% disagree with you. And I think this is part of the problem in this day and age. A company can be around for as long as Sony has and have obviously done plenty of good things which I’m sure have outweighed the bad (or they wouldn’t have lasted this long). I’m even assuming what you say is correct and is bad and I haven’t agreed that it is.Separately, next time you think of punishing “a company” try to remember that the vast amount of people that are that “company” are the workers who earn a salary and support a family working there. Consider the impact on them and how the overwhelmingly majority of those employees have not only nothing to do with anything you are saying but can’t do jack squat about it. Because they need their jobs. Most people either aren’t rich or aren’t the best of the best and can just decide to risk their career over something that they might not even find important in the first place.but as a company I just can’t help but feel like they’ve gotten what they deserve here.Because that is the way it’s supposed to work in a society like ours, right? Sorry no such thing. Follow the process if you feel their is a problem don’t take juvenile shortcuts. Don’t create damage in order to achieve what you are trying to achieve.

      1. CJ

        Sony has held themselves above the rules numerous times over the years, the company has had that paid back to it. If you believe in karma, call it karma, but ultimately they have hacked and bought their will upon others for the last two decades and I can’t feel bad when they got the same returned to them.Obviously I don’t wish anything bad on the employees who are largely uninvolved with the decision making but Sony didn’t feel much sympathy when they installed root kits on numerous computers in the 90s. They didn’t feel any sympathy for Internet freedom when they supported the various iterations if SOPA. so yeah, I stand behind my words. #nosympathy

        1. LE

          Malcolm, once again I don’t understand how what was done previously has anything to do with what is today. Different employees involved in that. Doesn’t even matter if the top guy approved either to me. You think he has a firm grasp on every little thing in detail?Appears what you are talking about was Sony BMG not “Sony”.Sony has 140,000 employees. That means that if you include their suppliers their reach is well into the millions.By the way at what point do you decide to give up the hate? I buy German cars (with the blessing of my Dad even though he was in the camps and lost his family there.) And plenty of German products. Is there some kind of an amnesty or time period when you move on, a statue of limitations?You are free of course, if it makes you feel better, to cut your nose to spite your face. If Sony makes the best product or a product that I want I’m going to buy it. And if most people stop feeling the way that I do then Sony will cease to be in business.Two people, two different opinions.

          1. CJ

            Buy the behavior hasn’t stopped. Note here:… that the MPAA, led by Sony was applying pressure on the Mississippi state AG to investigate Google for copyright infringement. Basically looking to censor the internet and Google’s search results.There were also documents that leaked confirming that Sony has hired and condoned black hat hacking as a defense against copyright infringement which is an offense easily as bad as the wound they’re seeking to treat and while this has been happening for ages they’ve never faced charges for it.They haven’t changed their stripes @LE which is why they’re so often the victim of cyber crime.

          2. LE

            Perhaps that is reason they are the victim of cyber crime but the truth is cyber criminal’s will hit any juicy target. And they do. If you operate a computer system you are constantly being scanned for vulnerabilities. You know that as a developer. And if you are mentally deranged and/or unstable enough to want to commit cybercrime it’s easy to find a justification or a rationalization. Doesn’t even take what Sony has done or allegedly done. You of course couldn’t be possibly saying that the targets of cybercrime are all companies that “deserve it”. And somehow there is a “star chamber” of justice that in it’s infinite wisdom decides these things fairly. Are you?We don’t live in an “eye for an eye” justice system type country.

          3. CJ

            Not saying that at all just that I don’t have sympathy for them in this case. Similarly, I don’t feel sympathy for North Korea losing Internet for a day a few days back. I know that cyber crime strikes vulnerabilities in most cases but I also think the Sony attack has all the signs of a targeted attack.

      2. SubstrateUndertow

        To my way of thinking you are buying into the long standing corporate propaganda that encourages the democratic-citizenry to conflate the interest of the corporate-entity with that of workers, taxpayers and our democratic-state interests at large.Yes these interests are very interdependent via a complex long standing array of formal and informal social-contract elements but they are not one in the same and they are not static.The corporate billions spent on Public-Perception-Management(economic framing propaganda) have been well spent it appears !I’m not anti corporation. I firmly believe in capitalism and the importance of the corporation as capitalism’s dominate/fundamental institutional building block for sustaining an organic-like free-marketplace economy.But like all other social entities/agents corporations, too, will be forces to intensifying their participation in the accelerating symbiosis between social-rights and social-responsibilities in order to legitimize their functional-fitness in the context of the network-economy’s inescapable web of expanding social interdependencies.This idea that corporations can continue to have sacrosanct authority over goods/services production/distribution free of any larger social/economic outcome-responsibilities is just a form of DENIAL . Such linear economic concepts, rooted in 19th century, are now being disrupted very abruptly by the ubiquitous network-effect.IMO that wide spread DENIAL is at the heart of our present political/economic/social sustainability crisis.

  9. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I’m looking forward to watching this. I’ll just fess up right now, “Pineapple Express” is one of my favorite comedies. I think these two are great satirists. They’re not as brilliant as the Marx Brothers, but they’re pretty damned good.

  10. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I think this format of distribution is inevitable, just the way that CD’s and DVD’s were inevitable. Companies like Sony will find a way to make it suck (like they did with DVD’s and different formats for different ‘zones’) but it will absolutely happen.

  11. Salt Shaker

    Yes, a victory for free speech, but hardly an earth shattering precedent and economic boom for Sony. My hunch is this film received in excess of $100M in free publicity and to generate slightly north of $1M in revenue is hardly an economic win. Will this encourage other studios to bypass the traditional in-theater distribution window? Hardly. Several studios have explored first run distribution via PPV, but generally those films had considerably less prominence and expectations. Net net: “The Interview” is hardly a successful datapoint for disruption.Edit: the $1M rev figure is for limited in-theater distribution only and doesn’t include streaming. So really, the jury is still out.

  12. Andrew Kennedy

    I saw it yesterday. thought it to be one of the funnier movies of the year. much better than I expected. seriously under rated.

  13. pointsnfigures

    And the cynic in me thinks they did it for the pub because Tge ratings were going to be subpar

  14. Dan Epstein

    I plan to rent it to show support for this model of movie distribution. I think this simultaneous release model is inevitable, but I hope it’s five years away, not twenty.

  15. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Just watched it, and thought it was great. Great satire on SO many things. It’s kind of weirdly awesome that it became the subject of all this madness.

  16. Pete Szymanski

    The Interview’s successful online launch, HBO’s un-cabling, Netflix’s original series, and YouTube’s long-steady ascent (6+ billion hours of video are watched each month—almost an hour for every person on Earth, 100 hours of video uploaded every minute and 80% of traffic from outside the US)… the game indeed has changed – and the tipping point reached perhaps… Thank you for all of the amazing daily posts in 2014. Even the great Hem would be in awe!

  17. paramendra

    All movies should be released this way.