The premiere of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s comedy “The Interview” in New York has been canceled in the wake of a message sent by the Sony hackers that threatened a 9/11-style attack on theaters showing the film.
Additionally, Carmike Cinemas, which operates in 278 theaters across the U.S., decided to cancel its planned showings of the film.
In a message emailed to various reporters and accompanying the latest in a series of leaks that have included employee emails, health and financial information, the hackers who call themselves "Guardians of Peace" sent a grim warning to people planning to attend screenings of "The Interview," even warning people who live near cinemas to leave home, according to a report from Variety.
“Warning…We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to,” reads the message posted on Tuesday. “Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.”
Sony Pictures Entertainment told theater owners on Tuesday that it would be supportive of their individual decisions on whether or not to show the film, which is still set for a Christmas release, according to multiple reports.
Carmike Cinemas operates 278 theaters across the country and is the first theater to pull the screenings of the controversial film, according to Hollywood trade publications The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
The Georgia-based company is the fourth largest cinema chain in the nation, following Regal, AMC, and Cinemark, none of whom commented on their plans for "The Interview" showings.
The Department of Homeland Security has said that there is no credible intelligence to indicate a threat, but is still investigating the message.
The movie portrays Rogen and Franco as spies set to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The movie shows Kim dying in a gruesome manner, which has been toned down due to the threats.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report