Showbiz Sandbox 262: Will “The Interview” Become A Rallying Cry For Freedom?

When the U.S. government identified North Korea as the culprit behind a cyberattack on Sony Pictures, the incident quickly became a matter of international security. As the studio halted the release of an upcoming political satire it seemed as if they had acquiesced to the hacker’s demands in what many saw as a direct attack on free speech. Now that Sony has reversed course and will distribute the film, will “The Interview” become a patriotic rallying cry for freedom?

Maybe one day “The Interview” will be selected by the Library of Congress for the National Film Registry. This year’s entries include “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, “The Big Lebowski” and “Rosemary’s Baby” along with many other influential movies.

Meanwhile, an upstart performance rights organization continues to threaten YouTube over more than 20,000 songs for which it says the streaming media giant doesn’t have a license. The details of the dispute get mired down in complicated copyright law, but it just goes to underscore how important streaming revenue is becoming to entertainment companies.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Madonna’s new album gets leaked online, the hit film “School of Rock” is heading to Broadway and why HBO is giving up on overnight ratings.

Play

Final ‘Hobbit’ Film Earns Stellar $117.6 Million in Early Foreign Launch
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/global-box-office-final-hobbit-757523

Sony Announces Limited Release for ‘The Interview’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-announces-limited-release-interview-760044

3 Reasons Security Experts Are Unconvinced North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack
http://www.thewrap.com/3-reasons-security-experts-are-unconvinced-north-korea-was-behind-sony-hack/

Top Five Theater Circuits Drop ‘The Interview’ After Sony Hack
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/source-top-five-theater-circuits-758843

Sony Cancels Theatrical Release for ‘The Interview’ on Christmas
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/sony-cancels-theatrical-release-for-the-interview-on-christmas-1201382032/

Sony: No VOD Release for ‘The Interview’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sony-no-vod-release-interview-759094

Art House Theaters Tell Sony They Want to Show ‘The Interview’
http://www.thewrap.com/art-house-theaters-tell-sony-they-want-to-show-the-interview/

Obama Vows a Response to Cyberattack on Sony
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/world/fbi-accuses-north-korean-government-in-cyberattack-on-sony-pictures.html

U.S. Weighs Response to Sony Cyberattack, With North Korea Confrontation Possible
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/world/asia/north-korea-confrontation-possible-in-response-to-sony-cyberattack.html

Sony Announces Limited Release for ‘The Interview’
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/multiple-theaters-say-they-will-760044

3 Reasons Security Experts Are Unconvinced North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack
http://www.thewrap.com/3-reasons-security-experts-are-unconvinced-north-korea-was-behind-sony-hack/

John Singleton on Sony Hack: Jokes by Amy Pascal, Scott Rudin Aren’t “Racist”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/john-singleton-sony-hack-jokes-758633

‘Big Lebowski,’ ‘Willy Wonka’ Among National Film Registry’s 25 Selections
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/big-lebowski-willy-wonka-among-national-film-registrys-25-selections-1201380203/

Actor Stephen Collins Admits to Inappropriate Contact with Underage Girls
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/actor-stephen-collins-admits-to-molesting-underage-girls-1201381653/

‘Citizenfour’ Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/citizenfour-producers-sued-edward-snowden-759839

HBO: We’re Not Releasing Overnight Ratings Anymore
http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/12/17/hbo-ratings/

‘School of Rock’ musical opening on Broadway in 2015
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-school-of-rock-musical-broadway-2015-20141218-story.html

Madonna Says Leaked Tracks Are Not Her New Album
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/madonna-says-leaked-tracks-are-not-her-new-album/

Six New Madonna Tracks Released
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/six-new-madonna-tracks-released/?_r=1

Pharrell Williams’ Lawyer to YouTube: Remove Our Songs or Face $1 Billion Lawsuit
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/pharrell-williams-lawyer-youtube-remove-759877

Joe Cocker Is Dead at 70; Raspy-Voiced Rock Star With Distinctive Moves
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/23/arts/music/joe-cocker-is-dead-at-70.html?_r=0