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WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — Moviegoers settling in for a midnight showing of "The Interview" got more than they paid for, thanks to a surprise appearance from the controversial film's star. Sony Pictures Entertainment, which drew widespread criticism for canceling the theatrical release of the movie due to threats from hackers, reversed course and allowed theaters to show the movies starting Thursday. Sony also made the movie available for online streaming.

Co-directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen — who also co-starred in the film with James Franco — dropped in at The Cinefamily movie theater in Los Angeles to deliver an expletive-laced thank you to those who'd turned out to take in the showing. "You are the best, we thought this might not happen at all," Rogen said with a laugh, raising a beverage.

Goldberg noted that both he and Rogen live around the theater. "The fact that it's showing here and you guys all came out," he said. "Is super f****** exciting!" Rogen chimed in. "If it wasn't for theaters like this, and people like you guys, this literally would not be... happening," he added.


— Jim Seida