LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Sony Pictures Entertainment Wednesday canceled the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview” after several movie theater chains announced they will not show the film.
Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, Cineplex and AMC Entertainment joined Carmike and Bow Tie Cinemas in the satire’s boycott Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A few hours later, Sony released a statement announcing the cancellation.
“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,” it read. “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”
The Guardians of Peace, a group claiming to be behind the cyberattack on Sony, issued a rambling threat Tuesday against theaters planning to show the upcoming film and said people considering going to the movie should “remember the 11th of September 2001.”
The threat, written in broken English, was posted on file-sharing services that have been used to circulate internal Sony emails stolen in the cyberattack.
“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,” the threat reads. “Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001.”
The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday there was “no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters.”
However, the Associated Press reported Wednesday federal investigators have now connected the cyberattack to North Korea, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to openly discuss an ongoing criminal case.
“The Interview” cost about $44 million to make. Sony said Wednesday it had no immediate plans to distribute the film.
The attack is unprecedented and possibly the costliest for a U.S. company ever, says Avivah Litan, a cybersecurity analyst at research firm Gartner.
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