It’s a sad day for comedy, free speech, and people who hate losing against terrorists. According to THR, all five major movie theater chains – Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, and Cineplex Entertainment – have announced that they’ve decided to not release Seth Rogen and James Franco’s new film The Interview, which was scheduled to premiere in theaters on Christmas Day. “Due to the wavering support of the film The Interview by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theatres,” Regal said to THR in a statement.
This decision comes after the most menacing threat to Sony yet when the anonymous hackers warned theaters and moviegoers yesterday of a potential 9/11-type attack at locations that choose to screen the movie: “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.” North Korea has denied any involvement in the hack, stating earlier this month that they “do not know where in America the Sony Pictures is situated and for what wrongdoings it became the target of the attack nor [do] we feel the need to know about it,” though they did call it a “righteous deed.” Variety reports that Sony is currently considering a premium VOD release of the film, though they have yet to make an official announcement.
UPDATE: Sony has now decided to cancel the December 25th release of The Interview entirely. Read their full statement 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.