The escalating situation surrounding Sony’s decision to pull The Interview from movie theatres continues to spiral out of control. With the fate of that movie in limbo, impromptu screenings of the satirical puppet comedy Team America: World Police, sprang up across the country. Sadly, they too have now been pulled.
In the wake of a message from cyberterrorist organization Guardians Of Peace, in which the cell threatened violence on any movie theater showing The Interview, all major movie theater chains in the U.S. yanked the movie from their slates. As a result of this move, Sony then opted to halt the release of the movie altogether. While many assumed it would make its way to audiences via VOD, that too has now been ruled out.
In an attempt to show solidarity and not let those responsible believe they had triumphed, a handful of independent movie theaters across the U.S. decided to replace the empty slots in their schedules with screenings of Team America. The 2004 comedy poked fun at North Korea and in particular, the country’s former dictator Kim Jong-il – in marionette form!
However, in yet another blow that sends a clear message to terrorists, Paramount Pictures, who owns Team America has now pulled screenings to that movie. Three different exhibitors took to Twitter today to announce that their plans to give a firm finger to the cyber terrorists had also been canned:
Please note: Our Late Shift screening of Team America: World Police has been canceled by Paramount Pictures. pic.twitter.com/TlPVzIeICW
— Capitol Theatre (@CapitolW65th) December 18, 2014
Breaking Plaza news : Team America World Police pulled from all theatres as per Paramount Pictures. — Plaza Atlanta (@PlazaAtlanta) December 18, 2014
Due to to circumstances beyond our control, the TEAM AMERICA 12/27 screening has been cancelled. We apologize & will provide refunds today. — Alamo Drafthouse DFW (@AlamoDFW) December 18, 2014
It’s more than a shame that Paramount feels the need to pander to pressure – it’s an indicator that the fate of movie exhibition is now firmly in the hands of terrorists. Caving to their demands has set a dangerous precedent for the future of the industry. This could be the beginning of even MORE play-it-safe pictures that don’t rock the boat, or the status quo. We’ve already heard that the Steve Carell-Gore Verbinski North Korean-set thriller, has been canceled in light of the situation – so what’s next?
If it wasn’t outrageous enough to learn that The Interview might never see the light of day, it’s even more frustrating to hear that Paramount – a studio who haven’t even been targeted – have bowed to these demands.
That’s not going to stop anyone from firing up Team America: World Police in the comfort of their own homes, though. Well, until it gets yanked from VOD, that is.