Home By Marquel It Could Have Been Fun

It Could Have Been Fun


Marquel, TPVs NYTimes Faux Terrorism Section commentator, was learning North Korean from an illegally purchased Rosetta Stone tape, when he took a break to read in English Theater Chains Decline to Show Sony’s ‘The Interview,’ Citing Threats. 

Multiplex chains that control more than 19,200 screens in America decided not to release the film, ending any prospect of a serious theatrical release. This whole thing sounds suspicious. Marquel knew that at the same time The Interview was to be released, Warner Brothers was issuing the Hobbit, Sony itself was releasing Annie, and Twentieth Century is releasing Night at the Museum. Weren’t they afraid to release their films? Studios receive hate mail all the time. They don’t shut down production.

Marquel went to Sony to take a look at the hate mail.

  • One letter threatened death to all of America. It went on to say that Americans should watch family fare about goblins, not assassination.
  • Another letter said it would be 9/11 all over again if people saw the movie and suggested an afternoon at a nice museum.
  • A third said showing the movie would destroy Hollywood and that thousands of orphans could profit more from Americans free time this weekend.

Marquel thought these were not ordinary hate mail. He asked the Sony people.

“Anything unusual about these notes?” Marquel asked.
“Not particularly,”-said Sony.
“Well have you compared them to other hate mail?”-I asked.
“Why? They say they’ll kill us if we show the movie. We can’t afford to take the risk. But here’s the hate mail we got recently for other films.” He offered
I read the hate mail for Chef. It said, “if you promote that fattening food you’re dead meat.” Another for the penguin movie said, “You show this movie we’ll kill all your pets.” One for, or against, Maleficent, said,”show that movie glorifying beauty and we’ll throw acid on your faces.”
I was convinced. “Don’t you see a difference?” I asked.
“Again, no. They threaten us if we show the movies they detest.” He said.
“But these supposedly North Korean threats not only threaten but they strongly suggest going to see one of the rival films that weekend. That’s unusual. Do you have the envelopes?” I asked.
“Not the originals. The cops took them. But we have copies. Here they are.”
“Did you notice,” I asked, “they are not stamped but have automatic franking seals, and all come from the same zip code?” I asked.
“The North Koreans aren’t stupid. With stamps there is DNA. This way they’re home free.” Sony said.
“But the zip codes, this one is 90028, are all from Hollywood. Don’t you know what is happening?” I asked.
“What’s not happening is The Interview.” Sony said.
“But somebody just wants to get you out of the way of your competition. Yours was the only grown up movie Christmas weekend. It would have killed!”
They weren’t listening. Each had a bodyguard. They were really frightened. Of a PR campaign.
I went to the zip code and looked around. I was looking for PR offices and North Koreans. I found a big office that did a lot of publicity for the studios but no North Koreans. I went inside.
“Do you know anything about the threats sent about the Interview?” I asked.
“No, no more than what we read,” the manager said.

“Could I see your mail room?” I asked.

At first they balked but when I said I had a big promotion they might work on, they showed me right in. The mail room was quite ordinary. But it had an odor. I couldn’t place it. Fishy. Still couldn’t place it. Suddenly…Kimchee sauce! It reeked of kimchee sauce. North Koreans had been there, assisting this duplicitous campaign to give it a slight patina of veracity.

I went home, satisfied with what I found. Obama was busy criticizing Sony for caving. Hardly. This was a capitalist scam worthy of P.T. Barnum. I wonder what Tom Thumb’s role would have been.

I had new respect for Sony. A job well done. Annie is going to kill with no competition.

BY MARQUEL: It Could Have Been Fun


  1. Absolutely, first rate PR. First, they saw that the kids’ market is cornered: Annie, and then they took over the adult market as well…Marquel, they should hire you..


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