The decision came as multiple major movie chains pulled out, announcing that they would no longer be showing the film after the hackers' recent threats of terror attacks against any cinema caught doing so.
Here's Sony'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 25th theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and cinema-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 of this is taking place just a few hours after today's report that, despite the fed's previous statements to the contrary, North Korea might have actually had some involvement in the unprecedented hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment after all.
As for what happens next, many on Twitter are calling for Sony to release the film on video-on-demand. And at this point, that may be the only viable option.
Regardless of what you think of the cinemas' and/or Sony's various decisions, though, one thing is for certain: Shit is falling apart—and fast. If we're keeping score, the hackers definitely have the advantage right now. But on the bright side, at least we have less reason to have to leave our respective homes this Christmas. [Variety]