Sony Pictures has said it is "actively surveying alternatives" to release the controversial film, The Interview, on another platform, after US President Barack Obama criticised the firm saying the studio had "made a mistake" by pulling the movie.

In a statement, quoted by Sky News, the company said it had "no choice" but to pull The Interview, as cinema chains across the US had backed away from showing the film, which depicts a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

"Without theatres, we could not release it in the theatres on Christmas Day," Sony said.

"We had no choice."

The company added that it has only cancelled the Christmas day release, and could release it on another platform.

"It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so," Sony said.

In an interview with CNN, Sony's chief executive Michael Lynton also defended the company's decision, saying the president, the media and the public "are mistaken as to what actually happened".

"We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered and we have not backed down," Lynton said.

"We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie."

After the FBI officially named the North Korean government behind the sophisticated attack, Obama said Sony Pictures had "made a mistake" by deciding to cancel the release of the movie.

"I wish they had spoken to me first," the president said.

"We cannot have a society in which some dictatorship someplace can start imposing censorship."

Lynton in the interview noted that he had personally talked to senior advisers at the White House, who were "certainly aware of the situation".