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Sony tells movie theater owners they can cancel screenings

Movie theater chains in the U.S. have a greenlight from Sony Pictures to cancel screenings for 'The Interview'.

The crisis management firm working with Sony have spoken with theater chains and told them that they are not obligated to screen 'The Interview' and can pull showings at their discretion.

Following the threat of physical violence against movie theater audiences, the pressure on cinema chains and public safety concerns have already forced the cancellation of the New York premiere on Thursday. This was after Seth Rogen and James Franco withdrew from all media appearances to promote the film.

Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security issued a short statement in response to the alarming threat while theater owners have been reviewing security procedures.

'The Interview' is scheduled to screen from Christmas day in a wide release in over 3000 theaters, however, there are concerns that cinema chains may be liable for prosecution if audiences face a known danger when going to see the film after the threats made. The identities of the hackers is not yet known and the security concerns remain a top priority for the studio.

What's clear is that the hackers have amplified their threat, but the intrigue over the movie has also skyrocketed. With fewer screenings and more demand, theaters that do decide to show the film look set for a busy Christmas season.

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