by Justin Cook
The Interview has officially been pulled from its December 25 release date by Sony Pictures. This news comes after a message was released on Tuesday from the Sony hackers threatening a 9/11-style attack on theaters that show the upcoming controversial comedy, and multiple theater chains dropping the film.
Sony’s official statement reads as follows:
“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.”
It was announced this afternoon that the James Franco and Seth Rogen film would not play in such theaters as AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Cineplex. The movie was also pulled last night by the Carmike theater chain as well. These chains, being the five largest in North America, ultimately influenced Sony’s decision not to release the movie, as stated above.
Regal Entertainment also sent out an official statement regarding their decision saying, “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.”
Theaters obviously did not want to take a chance by showing the film, and did not want to scare moviegoers away who would be going to see a different film on Christmas Day. Other movies being released that day include Into the Woods, Unbroken and Big Eyes. Showing the film could have potentially damaged the box office results of those movies.
What this means is that Sony will most likely look to other methods for releasing the film. At this point, probably the most likely method of release for the film is via Video on Demand.
The film, which was about two journalists who travel to North Korea to kill Kim Jong-un, had sparked a lot of controversy in North Korea, with a spokesman for Jong-un calling the film an “act of war.”
The movie was reportedly made for $44 million, and was originally set for an October 10, 2014 release date, before the studio decided to move it to Christmas Day. One has to think if by keeping the film’s original release date if the film and Sony would have still met the same fate.
The news also follows the cancellation of the film’s Thursday premiere in New York at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema.
Source: The Wrap