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Sony cancels Dec. 25 release of ‘The Interview’

Cast members James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles on Dec. 11.
Cast members James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles on Dec. 11.REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian/Files/REUTERS

NEW YORK (AP) — Sony Pictures has canceled the Dec. 25 release of ‘‘The Interview’’ after hackers threatened terrorists attacks and the largest multiplex chains in North America pulled the film.

In a statement, Sony said it was cancelling ‘‘The Interview’’ ‘'in light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film.’’ The studio said it respected and shared in the exhibitors’ concerns.

‘‘We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome,’’ read the statement.

Regal Cinemas, AMC and Cinemark have each pulled the movie. In a statement, Regal said it was delaying any showings of ‘‘The Interview’’ because of ‘‘the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats.’’

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Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace on Tuesday threatened moviegoers with violence reminiscent of the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

On Tuesday, the studio told exhibitors that the company understood if exhibitors pulled the film in light of the threats.

The country’s fourth largest chain, Carmike, pulled its scheduled showing of the film Tuesday.

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