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Sony Pictures Entertainment Cancels Christmas Release of ‘The Interview’

The Interview hackers
Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Entertainment has canceled the planned Dec. 25 release of the movie “The Interview” after a decision from theater owners, including Celebration! Cinemas and AMC Entertainment, not to show it on their own.

Here is Sony Pictures Entertainment’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 five of the United States’ largest movie theater chains — AMC Entertainment, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark, Cineplex Entertainment and Regal Entertainment — in addition to Grand Rapids-based Celebration! Cinemas had decided against showing “The Interview” following the threats of terrorism issued by the hacker group, Guardians of Peace.

Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security responded by saying they could find “no credible info” on planned attacks, Sony has decided to place the decision to screen the film in the hands of theater executives.

U.S. officials have linked North Korea’s government to the Sony hacking, The New York Times reported. Guardians of Peace earlier today had announced it was responsible for the Nov. 24 Sony hacking and was threatening a terrorist attack comparable to 9/11.

Theater owners had been seeking increased security if they chose to screen the comedy film, a farce about two American journalists (James Franco and Seth Rogen) playing unlikely assassins in an attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Kim Jong-un.

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