*Most of the country’s largest theater chains have decided not to show Sony’s “The Interview” following a warning Tuesday from anonymous hackers that people should avoid going to theaters where the film is playing.
The comedy, about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was scheduled to come out on Christmas Day. As of now, Sony is not planning to pull the film altogether, but the studio indicated it wouldn’t object if theaters decide not to show the film.
On Wednesday, the major chains did just that. However, some indicated they might show the film eventually.
According to sources familiar with the situation and statements by some of the companies, among the top chains that have decided to premiere the movie are AMC, Regal (RGC), Cinemark (CNK), and Carmike Cinemas (CKEC). Several smaller chains, including ArcLight, Bow Tie Cinemas and Southern, have also dropped their plans to show the film.
Bow Tie said in a statement that it was “saddened and angered” by the threats against the film. “It is our mission to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and employees,” it said.
Another chain, Cineplex, which is based in Canada, also confirmed that it would postpone its showing of the movie.
“Cineplex takes seriously its commitment to the freedom of artistic expression, but we want to reassure our guests and staff that their safety and security is our number one priority. We look forward to a time when this situation is resolved and those responsible are apprehended,” the company said.
The film’s Los Angeles premiere went off without a hitch last week, but the New York premiere planned for Thursday was called off after the new threat on Tuesday.
The FBI is investigating the hack, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that “there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.”
All the attention is causing some people to pledge to see the film.
“I am not going to let a terrorist threat shut down freedom of speech. I am going to The Interview,” screenwriter and director Judd Apatow wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.