The controversy surrounding Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview continued to escalate today as virtually every major movie theatre chain in America has decided to drop or delay the upcoming comedy, leaving its distribution future in doubt.
This has been an ongoing conversation, and a lot can change between now and Christmas Day, when the comedy was supposed to open in theaters. But Variety reports that AMC Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark and Cineplex all have decided to "delay or drop" The Interview in response to threats of a Sept. 11-type attack on theaters that dare to program it.
Sony, the ongoing victim of a series of hacks that some believe are tied to the creation of The Interview, has said that they will continue to make the movie available, but they will support the theater chains if they decide not to screen it beginning on December 25. Eric Wold, an exhibition industry analyst with B. Riley and Company, tells Variety:
It’s much less of a big deal to pull the film than it is to risk something happening. It makes no sense for a theater to choose to show this movie."
This has been a terrible, and terribly uncomfortable, week for The Interview stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, who made multiple appearances on SiriusXM in support of the movie before eventually cancelling all planned media opps. While promoting the movie on Opie Radio, Rogen told hosts Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Jim Norton that they never set out to make a controversial movie. "It’s weird because the movie itself is so silly. We just made it to try to be funny, more than anything, and entertaining," Rogen said on the show before having to succumb to radio silence. "What’s nice is when people actually see the movie, they see, like, ‘Oh, it’s just a funny movie.’" Listen to their candid, NSFW interview below:
So what happens if you WANTED to see The Interview? Much smaller chains like Celebration! Cinemas and Malco Theatres told Variety they had yet to make their decision on whether to screen the film. But fear of attacks, or the fear of violent outbursts at theaters carrying the movie, appear to have blocked The Interview from opening on Christmas Day. Much more on this story as it continues to develop.