Sony Pictures officially decided on Wednesday not to release the film “The Interview” in theaters on Christmas Day, the Culver City studio said in a statement.
Sony Pictures’ decision followed the news that the largest theater chains in the United States had decided not to play to film until the conclusion of an FBI investigation into the cyberattack on the studio and the terrorist threats that followed.
Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Cinemark Holdings Inc. and Carmike Cinemas Inc., had all dropped out by Wednesday afternoon, in addition to several smaller theater chains.
“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,” Sony Pictures said in a statement.
The threat of a September 11-style attack on movie theaters was made in emails sent to various news outlets Tuesday morning. “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.),” read a version posted by The Hollywood Reporter.
Sony is considering releasing the film on premium video-on-demand instead, an insider told Variety.
“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,” Sony Pictures said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
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