Major theater chains Cinemark, AMC and Regal have decided that they will not be showing "The Interview," the Wall Street Journal's Erich Schwartzel reported. Combined, the three chains control more than 18,000 screens in the U.S.
According to the most recent count from the National Association of Theater Owners, at the end of 2012, there were 39,662 screens, indoor and outdoor, in the U.S.
The three giant chains -- the top three in the country -- joined Carmike and Bow Tie Cinemas in bowing out of showing Sony's upcoming movie after the hacker group behind the massive Sony entertainment leak allegedly threatened a 9/11-style terrorist attack on moviegoers. Sony also canceled Thursday's planned New York City premiere of "The Interview," and stars Seth Rogen and James Franco have dropped out of upcoming press appearances.
The film stars Rogen and Franco as U.S. television journalists who go to North Korea to interview leader Kim Jong-Un. The CIA recruits the duo to assassinate him as well.
North Korea has previously denounced "The Interview" as "an act of war."
The threatening note posted by a group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace and claiming responsibility for the massive Sony information hack yesterday specified that those who went to see "The Interview," both in theaters and at the early premieres, would suffer a "bitter fate."
"The world will be full of fear," the note warned. "Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)"
"The Interview" is set to hit (some) theaters December 25.