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‘The Interview’ with Seth Rogen, James Franco Pushed Back to Christmas

Nothing puts moviegoers in the Christmas spirit like political assassination.

Sony Pictures Entertainment is moving “The Interview” from Oct. 10, 2014 to December 25, 2014, smack in the middle of the crowded holiday box office.

The film, which Sony is billing as an action-comedy, reunites “Pineapple Express” and “This Is the End” stars Seth Rogen and James Franco. In the film, the producer and anchor of a celebrity tabloid TV show land an interview with North Korean despot Kim Jong-un. Hoping to score ratings and legitimacy, they book a ticket for Pyongyang, only to be recruited by the CIA, who want the pair to assassinate the third world country’s leader.

The screenplay is by Dan Sterling, with a story by Evan Goldberg, Rogen and Sterling. Rogen and Goldberg direct the picture, which Jong-un apparently doesn’t find funny. A spokesman for the country described the film as an “act of war” and said there would be retaliation against the United States, so there goes plans for a splashy North Korean premiere.

The Interview” will go head-to-head with five other wide releases in its Christmas slot, including “Paddington,” “Into the Woods” and the awards contenders “Big Eyes” and “Unbroken.” It will compete for comedy audiences with “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.” The film has been testing well and Sony is hoping to capitalize on the younger college crowds who will be out on break for the holiday.

In its vacated slot, it would have faced a number of wide releases including the family film “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” and the Robert Downey Jr. drama “The Judge.”

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