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Raunchy comedy "The Interview" -- featuring a fictional plot to kill North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un that has enraged Pyongyang -- opened in crowded US movie theaters Thursday looking to make a statement on free speech. Its future had been in doubt after entertainment giant Sony said it was canceling the release following an embarrassing cyberattack on its corporate network and threats against moviegoers. Star Seth Rogen and co-director Evan Goldberg made a surprise appearance at one of the first showings in Los Angeles just after midnight, when they thanked moviegoers and theaters for pushing to get the film out. "We thought this might not happen at all," Rogen told a cheering crowd, according to a video posted on YouTube.