The terrorists win! It looks as those that perpetrated the incredible Sony hack in late November have gotten their wish. We reported earlier this morning that Carmike Cinemas got cold feet following the threat of 9/11-style attacks and decided not to show “The Interview” in its 254 theaters.
That was obviously a devastating body blow for Sony, which has already suffered so much from the cyberattack. But this afternoon, we learned that four additional theaters chains pulled support for the film, effectively giving Sony and “The Interview” a knockout punch that will result in losses in the millions (if not hundreds of millions once the postmortem of the hack is conducted). The four additional chains include AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cineplex Entertainment, and Regal Entertainment Group.
The companies represent the five largest theater chains in the America, and were Sony’s only hope of turning a profit on this film following the huge cloud of negativity and blowback that has resulted from the buildup to its release.
The final straw for the theater chains came yesterday, when Guardians of Peace (#GOP) issued the following threat, “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.”
Although most security analysts feel that there is zero substance to these threats, companies like Regal Entertainment Group and Carmike Cinemas don’t want to take that chance. "Due to the 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," said The Regal Entertainment Group in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
With the odds stocked against it, Sony this afternoon announced that it has cancelled the December 25 release of “The Interview.” In a statement released to Variety, Sony stated, "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.”
“The Interview” — which is currently tracking at 44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — cost Sony $44 million to produce.