David Cross launches his new movie as pay-what-you-want download

Filmmaker and comedian David Cross premiered his new movie at Sundance, but didn’t like any of the distribution deals offered by major studios, so he decided to give the film directly to fans as a pay-what-you want BitTorrent bundle, backed by a Kickstarter campaign

The Interview tops YouTube’s list of popular videos

Getting hit by hackers who may or may not be from North Korea isn’t the worst way to drum up interest for a movie: “The Interview” is currently at the top of YouTube’s “Popular Right Now” list. A related video is third.

After initially canceling the December 25 release of “The Interview,” Sony backtracked and the film ended up showing in 331 U.S. theaters, according to Variety. That’s less than 10 percent of the locations at which the movie was originally slated to play. Only independent theaters showed the film after the large chains stuck to their original decision to drop the movie.

The film managed to hit the $1 million mark in theaters, but came in 15th for ticket sales on Christmas Day, Variety reported. A Sony statement said it sold out in some theaters.

So Sony’s decision to release the film online, where it is available for rent or purchase, was a smart one considering the interest in the movie after the hacking story received national attention. Sony’s anti-piracy measures, however, were not so smart. Variety estimates the film was illegally downloaded at least 900,000 times within 24 hours.

Interested in watching “The Interview” online? Here’s our guide to accessing it on your Apple TV, Roku, iPad or iPhone.

Crouching hype, hidden master

What makes the Weinstein Company’s strategy for the “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” sequel truly unusual is that the film is bypassing all transactional windows — from theaters to DVD sales and rentals to pay-per-view — and going straight into a subscription window.

4K confusion

With the industry now preparing to make the leap from HD to 4K Ultra-HD a pair of announcements this week at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin suggested we could be in for more DRM drama.

Pining for days of DVD

The studios were hoist on the petard of their own pining for the heady early days of DVD — a format shift that drove a massive change in consumer behavior from mostly renting movies to mostly buying them, producing a huge revenue and margin windfall for the studios.

Ebook trial: Tossing Amazon out the window

Had Amazon defied the publishers’ ultimatum, and the publishers followed through on their threat, it would have created a situation that one class of retailer willing to charge the highest price for ebooks would get the first window, while those that wanted to sell at a lower price got a later window. Standard operating procedure.