NEW YORK (AP) — Sony Pictures Entertainment has announced a limited theatrical release of "The Interview" beginning Thursday, putting the comedy back into theaters.

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said Tuesday that Seth Rogen's North Korea farce "will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day." He said Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters.

Moviegoers celebrated the abrupt change of fortune for a film that appeared doomed, as the film began popping up in the listings of a handful of independent theaters Tuesday.

After hackers last Wednesday threatened violence against theaters showing the film, the nation's largest theater chains dropped the film. Sony soon thereafter canceled the film's release altogether.

But that decision drew widespread criticism, including from President Barack Obama.