ENTERTAINMENT
12/17/2014 02:51 pm ET Updated Dec 17, 2014

Largest Movie Theater Companies Drop 'The Interview' (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Sony said in a statement that "The Interview" will not be released in theaters on Dec. 25.

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.

EARLIER: The five largest movie theater companies have dropped "The Interview" after threats from the Sony hack. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Cineplex Entertainment have joined Carmike Cinemas in pulling the film from release.

Landmark Sunshine Cinemas also canceled its New York premiere of the film, and another Northeast chain with 55 locations, Bow Tie Cinemas, decided to abandon plans to show the film following the threats. "The safety and comfort of our patrons is foremost in our minds," Bow Tie CEO Ben Moss told Variety. It was previously reported by TheWrap that ArcLight Cinemas would not show "The Interview," but in a statement given to The Huffington Post, a representative said that no decision has been made.

Carmike Cinemas, was first to drop "The Interview," which is scheduled for release on Christmas Day. The decisions to pull "The Interview" come after a cyber hack against Sony Pictures threatened the theaters that showed the film. "We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places 'The Interview' be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to," a note published Tuesday read.

When the threats surfaced, officials from the Department of Homeland Security told the Huffington Post that even though they were aware of the note, "there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States."

Combined, these companies make up approximately 1,646 movie theaters in North America.

"Due to 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 theaters," a representative for Regal said in a statement to The Huffington Post.

Representatives for Sony, as well as AMC, Cinemark and Cineplex Entertainment were not immediately available for comment. According to Variety, Sony executives have reportedly discussed releasing "The Interview" via on-demand services.

A previous version of this story stated that ArcLight Cinemas had pulled "The Interview."

HuffPost

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