I have always been curious about how a movie release coincidentally coincides with a major news story.  It has happened many times. Usually there is an odd story followed by a major studio release.

This year, on just such a premise, The Interview, was able to grab all kinds of headlines against a pretty limp Christmas lineup of competition.

Kudos to the publicists who have managed The Interview.  From an alleged security leak, they have managed to stay in the headlines for a couple weeks, even generating a Presidential comment.  All this fueled by American fear of an invasion by North Korea – a country claimed by the US to be one of the most backward in the world.

Nevertheless, the press continued to feed on the rumours that fueled interest in a movie critics otherwise panned.

Media sources in the US claimed that the US blacked out the internet in North Korea, as a follow up story of the escalating rumours.  Then there were discussions on US fear fueled media outlets about the security requirements for movie theatres that might wish to show the film.

Not bad publicity at all.  And for a movie launch, no publicity is bad.

No one has questioned the judgment of the plot that involves the CIA commissioning an assassination by a couple of rank amateurs – or the morality of supporting a movie that encourages such actions, whether they are against North Korea or wherever.  All in a days work for the CIA, I guess.  And totally believable.

Both the movie and all the publicity have been generated from a culture of fear that we have discussed in a previous blog posting recently.  It has been amazing how a country that styles itself as the freest and fiercest country in the world can be afraid of a little country that is one of the few remaining communist strongholds and has a low standard of living and education.

Now North Korea has accused the US of tampering with their internet and the profile and news stories continue each with a mention of the movie.

But fear is a definite driver.  Whether it is rational or not.  Take a bow, Seth Rogan and James Franco – or more appropriately, your publicists should take a bow.

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