Updated from 5:45 p.m. with information about the role of North Korea's government
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After threats from a cyber hacking group that prompted top theater chains to cancel showings of "The Interview," Sony ( SNE) Pictures called off its planned Dec. 25 release of the film at the center of a extensive hacking of the film studios computer network.
" 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," Sony said in a statement sent to reporters. "We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers."
Sony's decision not to move forward with the film comes after five major U.S. theater chains declined to show the "TheInterview," citing concerns about the safety of moviegoers and employees. Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) , Regal Entertainment (RGC) , A MC Entertainment Holdings (AMC) , Cinemark Holdings (CNK) , and Cineplex Entertainment (CGX) all said that they wouldn't show the James Franco and Seth Rogan comedy about a TV crew hired to assassinate current ruler of North Korea Kim Jung Un.