Sony Pictures Entertainment announced on Wednesday it’s canceling the release of the controversial movie, “The Interview” after anonymous terrorism threats were made against movie theaters planning to show the film. The threats were part of an elaborate hacking campaign against the film company. CCTV America’s May Lee reported this story from Los Angeles.
On the same day the cancellation was announced, a U.S. official told the Associated Press that federal investigators have now connected the Sony hacking to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and may make a statement in the near future. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to openly discuss an ongoing criminal case.
Sony cancels ‘The Interview’ following anonymous threatsSony Pictures Entertainment announced on Wednesday it's canceling the release of the controversial movie, "The Interview" after anonymous terrorism threats were made against movie theaters planning to show the film. The threats were part of an elaborate hacking campaign against the film company. CCTV America's May Lee reported this story from Los Angeles.
Until Wednesday, the Obama administration had been saying it was not immediately clear who might have been responsible for the computer break-in. The DPRK has publicly denied it was involved.
It’s not the ending Sony Pictures had been planning. But late Wednesday, the company decided it would not release “The Interview” after hackers promised to deliver a an attack aimed at patrons of the film that they referred to as a “Christmas gift”.
The hackers, who call themselves Guardians of Peace, issued a warning to moviegoers to stay away from theaters. Sony said the decision to cancel was made “in light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film.”
After a number of big movie theater chains including Regal Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, and AMC Entertainment, decided postpone the film in the interest of patron safety, Sony permitted theaters to cancel showings. ArcLight Cinemas, Cineplex Entertainment, and Carmike Cinemas, chose that option.
“I think the Hollywood studio system is… on edge,” Joseph Kapsch, executive editor and executive director of The Wrap, a entertainment digital media outlet said.
The controversy centers on the content of this fictional comedy about the assassination of Kim Jong Un, the leader of the DPRK.
On Tuesday, the hackers anonymously posted a threatening statement which said in part “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 Interview” was scheduled to open on Christmas Day across the U.S. Federal security officials said there was no credible intelligence of any plot at U.S. theaters, but police in Los Angeles said they were prepared to step up security.
The data breach is expected to cost Sony tens of millions. Earlier this week, two former Sony employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company.
“If hackers set out to cripple this film and the release of ‘The Interview’, I think they are absolutely succeeding. Right now, of course, this will scare off movie goers.” Kapsch said.
The DPRK has denied responsibility for the cyber attack, but it praised the action as “a righteous deed.”
The film was predicted to earn around $30 million in its opening weekend before threats and its cancellation. Should the film not be released theatrically, Sony would also lose tens of millions in marketing costs already incurred, according to the Associated Press.
Story compiled with information from CCTV America and AP reports.
Attorney Devin McRae discusses secrets of entertainment industry
CCTV America interviewed Devin McRae, an attorney and partner at Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae, LLP about the film’s cancellation, the recent hacking, and entertainment industry secrets.