The Interview: Sony gives green light for wider release, NZ included

The film North Korea tried to stop will be seen in New Zealand cinemas next month

Sony Pictures is to give The Interview a wide release including New Zealand as well as the UK and Ireland.

The Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy will be shown only in cinemas and no day-and-date digital release is planned. 

The release date for New Zealand is February 19 while it will be seen in the UK and Ireland from February 6.

The film, which features the fictional assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, prompted a devastating hacking attack against Sony.

The studio was forced to abandon plans for a wide release in the US following threats to audience safety, which frightened off the major exhibition chains.

The film was originally intended to be released on roughly 3000 screens on Christmas Day.

The studio then changed tack and embarked on a limited release through 331 independent cinemas and a simultaneous digital and video-on-demand release.

By January 4, the US theatrical release had generated more than $US5 million and the digital-VOD release had brought in $US31 million.

The Interview’s budget has been estimated at $US44 million.