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Sony's 'The Interview' to get 'freedom edition' home video release

Sony Pictures to release 'freedom edition' of 'The Interview,' with gag reel, deleted scenes and more

Sony Pictures Entertainment's "The Interview," the comedy at the center of the studio's hacking woes, is set for release on DVD and Blu-ray on Feb 17, the studio said Wednesday. 

The controversial film has been available through video on-demand for weeks, but the physical home video roll-out includes a collectible "freedom edition" Blu-ray disc that boasts 90 minutes of bonus features.

Those include deleted scenes, a gag reel and behind-the-scenes featurettes with the cast and crew. 

The standard DVD and Blu-ray bonus features include a Discovery Channel TV special with stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, and audio commentary from Rogen and codirector Evan Goldberg. 

Sony's suggested list price is $19.99 for Blu-ray and $14.99 for DVD. 

The movie depicts a fictional assassination attempt on North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. U.S. officials have said the rogue state is behind a cyberattack on Sony Pictures that crippled the studio's computer systems and led to the leaking of troves of private documents and emails to the Web. 

Sony had planned a wide theatrical release for "The Interview" on Christmas Day, but changed plans when major theater chains backed out of showing it in the face of terror threats from hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace. 

The studio made the film available online on Dec. 24 and it began screening in some independent theaters the following day. As of Jan. 4, the film had grossed $31 million from 4.3 million video on-demand transactions. Updated figures were not available. In theaters, the comedy has grossed about $5.8 million.

The studio expects to break even on film, which cost $44 million to make. That's due to strong home video sales and the fact that the studio was able to save millions on marketing the movie when the wide-release plans were scuttled, according to a person familiar with the matter.

VOD and digital retail services carrying "The Interview" including Google Play, YouTube Movies, iTunes, Wal-Mart's Vudu and many cable and satellite on-demand outlets.

Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, has said the Los Gatos, Calif., company wants to be able to offer the film through its subscription streaming service, but no deal has been reached.

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

11:43 a.m.: This post has been updated with pricing details for Blu-ray and DVD. 

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