CHALMETTE, La. (WGNO) - With only six screens showing a mix of independent films and Hollywood blockbusters, Ellis Fortinberry with Chalmette Movies carefully selects what movies they play. Now with Christmas is only days away he's scrambling, pulling down posters and trying to figure out what movie will replace "The Interview."
“This is the first time we've ever had something like this happen for us,” says Fortinberry.
Hackers who launched a cyber-war on one of the most powerful movie studios can claim victory. Billboards for "The Interview" are on their way down as Sony is pulls the plug on the movie saying it will not show the controversial comedy about two journalists asked by the CIA to kill North Korea's leader. The movie won't be played in theaters and not even online.
“This sets a bad precedent because the next time some group out there doesn't want a certain movie to play they just have to pose a threat and the movie might get pulled because of that,” explains Fortinberry.
North Korea denies involvement, but the federal government says North Korean officials directed hackers to launch the initial cyber war against Sony and threaten to attack movie theaters.
It's not surprising to those we spoke with.
Moviegoer Linda Tucker says, “We got a nut over there that's running the country. if he's willing to kill his people for nothing why wouldn't hurt us?”
“You know the guy is crazy. He’s not the type of person that is reasonable, so I’m not at all surprised or shocked by what happened,” says movie goer Warren Miller.
The decision will cost Sony millions. Not only is the $44 Million movie scrapped, Sony reportedly loses marketing costs and penalty payments. Some estimate the price tag could top $100 Million.
Chalmette Movies is hosting its annual "odd filmmaking contest." This year's theme is titled North Korea vs. Hollywood, and its sole requirement is that it needs to discuss in some way filmmaking and censorship (fiction or nonfiction) in the wake of the recent so-called proposed terrorist threats. No entree fee required. Contest open to all. Total running time should be no more than 20 minutes. For more information contact Chalmette Movies at (504)304-9992.