Sony Just Canceled The Interview's December 25 Release

Sony just confirmed that after major pushback from theaters, it's no longer going to release The Interview on December 25th entirely.

The decision came as multiple major movie chains pulled out, announcing that they would no longer be showing the film after the hackers' recent threats of terror attacks against any theater caught doing so.

Here's Sony's full statement:

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.

All of this is taking place just a few hours after today's report that, despite the fed's previous statements to the contrary, North Korea might have actually had some involvement in the unprecedented hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment after all.

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As for what happens next, many on Twitter are calling for Sony to release the film on video-on-demand. And at this point, that may be the only viable option.

Regardless of what you think of the theaters' and/or Sony's various decisions, though, one thing is for certain: Shit is falling apart—and fast. If we're keeping score, the hackers definitely have the advantage right now. But on the bright side, at least we have less reason to have to leave our respective homes this holiday season. [Variety]

The Top 5 Theater Chains Won't Screen The Interview

The top five theater circuits in North America have decided to drop The Interview, the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy about assassinating Kim Jong-Un that has been under scrutiny after hackers released a trove of Sony Pictures' emails and files claiming to be a retaliatory North Korea.

This week, after a threat of 9/11 scale violence on theaters playing the film, Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, and Cineplex Entertainment all chose to drop the movie, according to the Hollywood Review. We are contacting Sony to find out more about the decision.

The Department of Homeland Security has released a statement indicating that there's no credible threat to safety known at this time, and between this and Franco/Rogen pulling out of press, these decisions are giving the hackers exactly what they want in the face of little evidence to suggest the public is actually in danger.

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Obviously when there is evidence that a terrorist attack might occur, precautions should be taken. But so far, there is nothing that the Guardians of Peace (the group who hacked Sony) have done to indicate that they are capable of unleashing a physical attack on anyone.

There is also no evidence that the group is actually affiliated with North Korea, and giving into their poorly written Pastebin demands is an embarrassment. It'd be one thing if these theaters were ditching The Interview because its a $44 million stink bomb, but it's another to decide to believe in incredible threats sent by trolls. This sets a precedent that gives hackers undue power. I never thought I'd say this, but it seems downright un-American to keep James Franco's smarmy mug off our screens.

Update: Variety is reporting that Sony is considering a VOD release of The Interview. [Hollywood Reporter]