West Michigan theater reacts to Sony’s cancellation of ‘The Interview’

Posted at 9:06 PM, Dec 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-17 22:36:02-05

WHITEHALL, Mich. -- Sony Pictures made history on Wednesday when the studio announced it had officially pulled the release of the upcoming film "The Interview."

The movie tells the story of a talk show host (James Franco) and a  TV producer (Seth Rogan) who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un.

The cancellation comes after threats of violence at movie theaters that chose to play the film when Sony Pictures' computer system was hacked.. Even before Sony's announcement, several movie theater chains had already opted not to play the film.

Nick Wallace at Northstar Cinemas in Whitehall said that the company opted to not play "The Interview" on their screens simply because of the film's adult nature, but weren't ruling out the threats completely.

"As the film was getting closer to release, we were considering picking it up at our Rockford location, because those types of movies typically do a little better there," said Wallace.

Wallace is aware of the controversy and threats related to the film but said that would not be a reason to not show the film.

"The current issue with Sony right now I don't think would have deterred us from picking that film up had it been released as scheduled," said Wallace.

Wallace said that typically studios release popular films on Christmas Day to attract the holiday crowd and said that other films will now benefit from Sony's announcement.

"What you will see, I think, is, because there is less choices out there for the customer, the films that are releasing this week and have released this last weekend will actually do more business because there is just less to see," said Wallace.

It's no secret in Hollywood that controversy sells.  Wallace said that if and when the film is finally released, if the interest is there, he's in favor of showing the film on their screens.

"It's actually bringing more attention to the film," said Wallace. "It seems like if these people who are threatening Sony really want the film to go away, the last thing they should do would be to do this, because it's just going to create more controversy for the film."

Meanwhile, U.S. law enforcement sources tell CNN that hackers working for North Korea were behind the Sony attack. An announcement on their investigation could come as soon as Thursday.