Update #3: In an official statement, Sony revealed that there are no further plans for the release of The Interview. This puts an end to the speculation that a VOD release could be an alternative to the cancelled theatrical run.
Update #2: Sony has cancelled the Christmas Day release of The Interview. Here's the official 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 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-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."
Update #1: Variety and The Hollywood Reporter are both writing that Regal, AMC, Cinemark, Carmike and Cineplex will not be playing The Interview in theaters.
Other chains that will not play the film include B&B Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, Arclight Cinemas and Classic Cinemas.
Earlier today, the National Association of Theatre Owners sent the following statement:
"The ability of our guests to enjoy the entertainment they choose in safety and comfort is and will continue to be a priority for theater owners. While we do not discuss security procedures or policies, NATO members are working closely with the appropriate security and law enforcement agencies. We are encouraged that the authorities have made progress in their investigation and we look forward to the time when the responsible criminals are apprehended. Until that happens, individual cinema operators may decide to delay exhibition of the movie so that our guests may enjoy a safe holiday movie season experiencing the many other exciting films we have to offer."
The National Association of Theatre Owners is the largest exhibition trade organization in the world, representing more than 32,000 movie screens in all 50 states, and additional cinemas in 81 countries worldwide.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., with a second office in North Hollywood, California, NATO represents its members in the heart of the nation's capital as well as the center of the entertainment industry. From these vantage points, NATO helps exhibition influence federal policy-making and work with movie distributors on all areas of mutual concern, from new technologies to legislation, marketing, and First Amendment issues. www.natoonline.org