Regal Entertainment Group confirmed on Wednesday to The Hollywood Reporter that it would not be showing The Interview from December 25 as planned.
"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," the chain said in a statement.
THR also cited knowledgeable sources in reporting that AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment also have decided against screening the movie.
The Interview stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. After the movie was announced, it was condemned by North Korea as an "act of war".
Following the devastating data breach at Sony Pictures, the hacking group claiming responsibility for the attack - Guardians of Peace (GoP) - allegedly demanded that Sony cancel the release of the movie.
Since then there has been numerous data leaks that have been damaging in a number of ways to Sony Pictures, but on Tuesday the situation took a far more nefarious turn when the group allegedly made threats against theaters that will show the movie, even referencing the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Sony Pictures still maintained that it will release the film on December 25 but indicated it would understand if theaters didn't carry the film. The alleged threat led to the cancellation of the film's New York premiere and now the five largest theater chains in the U.S. have backed away from screening it.
It's a very nasty situation for Sony Pictures, which was also hit with a class action lawsuit filed by ex-employees this week, alleging that the entertainment firm failed to adequately protect its employees' data.
Sony Pictures will like still release the movie this month, and some fans are calling for the film to be released online.
Sources and Recommended Reading:
Top Five Theater Circuits Drop 'The Interview' After Sony Hack: www.hollywoodreporter.com
Written by: James Delahunty @ 17 Dec 2014 15:30