Now it's official: After the five largest movie theater chains in the country dropped The Interview from their schedules owing to threats from the hacker group Guardians of Peace, Sony has taken the unprecedented step of canceling the film's theatrical release. "We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression," the studio said in a statement, but "the safety of employees and theater-goers" was "paramount."
Sony's statement in full, below:
In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.
Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.