Movies

Movie Theaters Forced to Cancel Showings of Team America: World Police

|

After Sony Pictures announced yesterday that it was pulling the release of The Interview, a film about two American journalists sent to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, from its scheduled Christmas Day release after threats of movie theater terrorism, several theaters across the U.S. said that they would show Team America: World Police instead.

The basic idea was to replace one movie mocking the North Korean regime with another. Team America, an all-puppet comedy from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, pits its heroes against a sad-sack version of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. At the end of the movie, he's impaled on a giant spike, and it's revealed that he's actually an alien cockroach. Fitting! 

Now, however, it looks like moviegoers may not get to see either film on the big screen any time soon. The Daily Beast reports that theaters in Cleveland and Atlanta that had planned to make the switch say that Paramount, the studio behind Team America, has ordered them to stop. The Alamo Drafthouse in Texas, which also planned to show the puppet comedy, announced on Twitter this afternoon that due to "circumstances beyond our control" its Team America screening has been cancelled. 

Paramount apparently hasn't provided any reason why it's ordering the shows to be stopped. 

I am partially sympathetic to Sony's decision to pull The Interview from theaters. It is obviously a very bad precedent that is already causing pernicious downstream effects on the rest of the movie industry, and is likely to have a chilling effect on the broader media ecosystem. But it's also at least somewhat understandable given the decision by theater owners to not show the film, the risks (however small and unlikely), the reality of the hacks, and the potential legal liability. (Declining to release the movie in any form, including home video or digital distribution, is less defensible.)

But blocking replacement screenings of Team America can really only be described as next-level cowardly bullshit.

It's an absurd and ridiculous overreaction. This is a movie that Americans and others across the world have already seen, that was not targeted in the hack attacks, that was released by a different studio entirely, and that is available to watch in clips online. Aren't movie studios supposed to be in the business of trying to get people to watch their movies? 

Thank goodness for the Internet. Here's Kim Jong-il's death/alien cockroach reveal scene: 

And while we're at it, here's the death scene for Kim Jong-un that would have appeared at the end of The Interview:

Watch them both here, online, because it sure sounds like you aren't going to get to see them in theaters. 


Advertisement

NEXT: Crony Capitalism to Blame for Sluggish Job Growth

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Maybe we can just give North Korea and ISIS seats on the FCC and MPAA? That would save a lot of time.

    1. Net NUTrality!

      1. Way to go FAG

    2. make sure to cheer when the national anthem comes on during the college playoffs. Maybe che guavara himself will tell us about our freedom over the holidays.

  2. Sometimes I love Twitter….

    Capitol Theatre ?@CapitolW65th 2h2 hours ago Please note: Our Late Shift screening of Team America: World Police has been canceled by Paramount

    Joel H. Kimball ?@joelkimball @CapitolW65th @sistertoldjah BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! #ScrewParamountPictures @ParamountPics #jerks

    @CapitolW65th @sistertoldjah @ParamountPics Capitol Theatre ?@CapitolW65th 46m46 minutes ago @joelkimball @sistertoldjah @paramountpics 🙁

    Joel H. Kimball ?@joelkimball 45m45 minutes ago @CapitolW65th @sistertoldjah @ParamountPics %#CK YEAH! #TeamAmerica

    1. “Arric Barwinn!! DO SOMETHING!!!!”

  3. I believe Team America is also streaming on Netflix. ‘Tis the season…

      1. Netflix, I hope, will not cancel anything due to this BS. They seem extremely hard-nosed.

        1. To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the reason Paramount told the theaters not to air Team America. If they have any kind of exclusivity agreement on broadcast rights with Netflix, then letting the theaters show it might breach that.

          Might not have anything to do with fear of North Korea at all.

          1. It would be nice if they would say so!

            1. Agreed. Of course, since they aren’t saying so, that probably means it isn’t the case and they’re just a bunch of chickenshits.

  4. But blocking replacement screenings of Team America can really only be described as next-level cowardly bullshit.

    Bravo. This needs to have a subscribe now! button (or Donate?) next to it.

  5. Something tells me that if The Interview weren’t as big a bomb as many of the reviews say it is, Sony wouldn’t be so quick to shitcan it. I wonder if they cannot get back the costs of the movies through some sort of insurance claim…probably not since terrorism is often excluded from such policies.

    In any case, I think this hooplah was the perfect excuse Sony needed to pull a true bomb off the circuit. Who knows, when 2 years roll by and they are confident in their ability to secure their systems, they’ll probably make huge bank streaming “The Movie Pyongyang Didn’t want you to see” over PS4s.

    1. The fact that a bunch of theater chains would not show it was the determining factor, I think. They thought that people would not come to see any movies while it was showing.

      But to pile on: fuck Paramount, you cowards.

    2. Zero chance. Their decision to pull the movie was elective, and yeah, pretty much every policy has a terrorism exclusion.

      Also, if they knew it was a bomb, they sure spent a fortune promoting it.

      1. If The Interview was really such a “bomb”, then perhaps that is what the GoP meant by their supposed 9/11 threat :).

  6. Yeah, see, this is why I have “Team America” on DVD. My wife hates it. We will watch it anyway.

    For America.

    FUCK YEAH!

    1. Yeah, see, this is why I have “Team America” on DVD

      Jesus Christ, that is some kinda foresight you had. How did you know ????!!

      1. I can see for miles, and miles, and miles, and miles, and miles…

        1. Oh yeah?

  7. Here’s what has happened…

    Paramount has IT vulnerabilities just like Sony. They probably do alot of their work in excel workbooks that are stored on file servers secured only by obscurity; outsiders have no idea what to look for.

    And they’ve not done the hard work to secure their network, because it made getting things done really, really hard, and they could put things off till next quarter.

    Now, they are terrified that the same shit that happened to Sony will happen to them. Sony is hemorrhaging money right now, and these guys are afraid the same thing will happen to them.

    1. “Sony is hemorrhaging money right now,”

      No, they’re not

      $100-200m is a drop in the bucket compared to prior security problems/one -time events they’ve had

      (see: earthquake related issues in 2011 and a security hack then as well – $3.2bn writedown).

      Not to mention that the company’s problems are far bigger than their movie business. They’ve been ‘hemorrhaging money’ through their *core operations* for the last 2 years, like exiting the PC business entirely, and trying to make their shitty mobile division profitable.

      Their stock is actually up 20%+ since mid October; the ‘hack’ news has been a non-event from the POV of investors. Its a one-time charge, and if anything signals that they’re done with ‘trying to be controversial’.

    2. I’ve read that one of Sony’s problems was that bigwigs didn’t want to follow IT security procedures.

      1. 1. They had THREE people actually working in IT security (seriously? My startup had more people working IT security).

        2. They stored everything in a single server (yay! Single point of failure or to attack).

        3. Apparently didn’t care to use encrypted communications for anything (sending Social Security numbers over plain-text email = GREAT IDEA!!).

    3. I say it’s the same reason Sony canceled screenings, despite: It’s an absurd and ridiculous overreaction. This is a movie that Americans and others across the world have already seen, that was not targeted in the hack attacks, that was released by a different studio entirely, and that is available to watch in clips online.

      In the (unlikely) event of violence or a hack that leaks Paramount employees’ personal info, any lawyer in the country could skip across all that and connect the dots from the threats against The Interview to Team America.

      The Norks’ accomplice here is our overly-litigious society.

  8. I think the appropriate actions by audiences is to announce that they’re going to boycott Sony and Paramount for a full year, and download all their fucking movies off Pirate Bay.

    #MakeCowardicePay

    1. When I mentioned this story to my wife, she said, “If they change their mind and actually release it in theatres, we should actually pay to watch it.”

  9. Aren’t movie studios supposed to be in the business of trying to get people to watch their movies?

    I thought movie studios were in the begging for subsidies business.

    1. Begging? Apparently, you have never lived in LA. They’re just given everything they want.

      City Government of LA: “You want to shut down a major thoroughfare in the middle of the day? SURE!! What can possibly go wrong? Oh, by the way, you don’t even need to pay us anything!”

  10. Bo Pelini lights the Ken Shulz signal.

  11. I still think the theaters should honor government cowardice by screening Steve Buscemi’s version of Theo van Gogh’s “Interview”. But how many outside of H&R even remember who Theo van Gogh was?

    1. He’s the guy that drew the Mona Lisa right?

      1. No, no – he drew Mona Lisa’s EAR.

    2. I still have relatives in the Netherlands…

      1. [random wooden-shoe joke]

      2. Are they dykes?

        1. Maybe. They have their finger in one.

      3. I still have relatives who are Neanderthals.

    3. He was killed about 200 feet from my old apartment in Amsterdam. My buddy was at home at the time and heard all the commotion. I saw a fair amount of burkas living in that hood.

  12. Jesus H. Christ. Either show the movies or carpet bomb the Norks, but don’t give in to them. That’s the last thing you do with a bully.

  13. Oh, and there is always the Red Dawn remake.

    1. Which was fucking terrible.

    2. I suspect the Norks LIKE Red Dawn because it is like a version of their own Fantasy Wish Fulfillment

      WE INVADE AMERICA AND DROWN YOU IN SEA OF FIRE! WE CAPTURE FIRST DETROIT, YOUR HEART OF INDUSTRIAL MIGHT AND CENTER OF CULTURE, FROM THERE WE GO ON TO RULE OTHER GREAT AMERICAN METROPOLIS AND FREE THE STARVING HORDES IN BUFFALO, CLEVELAND, AND PITTSBURG

      I’m saying, they watch Red Dawn and see themselves as the *Good Guys*, know what I mean?

      1. Dude, in the remake they invade…Spokane.

        1. Really? I thought it was supposed to be Detroit? They actually shot it there

          …which is like a double-insult to Detroit: “we’ll take your shitty tax subsidies and film here, but we don’t think you’re actually a credible invasion-destination because… well, you suck.”

          1. They actually invade “the East and West Coasts” yet the whole thing takes place in Spokane and I guess Spokane is…uh…on the coast now?

            1. Look = Red Dawn v1.0 had Cuban Paratroopers drop into… Colorado.

              …an isolated mountain state of no strategic relevance.

              ANYTHING makes more sense than Red Dawn 1. I was hoping V2.0 would actually attempt to One-Up the original and go for something even more ridiculous – like *treating Detroit as the jewel in the American Crown*

              1. It didn’t matter in the first one because Milius knows how to make even stupid things be awesome. The second one was just terrible. They had a chase scene with tanks and they were drifting the tanks. Like…Tokyo Drift drift. It’s so stupid it should have been funny, but it wasn’t. They even had Adrianne Palicki and it was still terrible.

                I had also hoped for a one-up but it was not to be without the magic of Milius.

              2. “…an isolated mountain state of no strategic relevance.”

                From the movie:

                “Col. Andy Tanner: [Describing the invasion] West Coast. East Coast. Down here is Mexico. First wave of the attack came in disguised as commercial charter flights same way they did in Afghanistan in ’80. Only they were crack Airborne outfits. Now they took these passes in the Rockies.

                Jed Eckert: So that’s what hit Calumet.

                Col. Andy Tanner: I guess so. They coordinated with selective nuke strikes and the missiles were a helluva lot more accurate than we thought. They took out the silos here in the Dakotas, key points of communication.

                Darryl Bates: Like what?

                Col. Andy Tanner: Oh, like Omaha, Washington, Kansas City.

                Darryl Bates: Gone?”

                1. Cuban. Paratroopers. In winter clothing.

                  I think Invasion U.S.A.. was, by contrast, on par with Operation Overlord in its strategic and operational-level planning-detail.

                  Which was, ‘uh, come over the beach in Florida, then drive through suburban neighborhoods and shoot houses with rockets’

                  It MAKES MORE SENSE.

              3. They weren’t Cuban Paratroopers, they were Soviet. The Cuban and Nicaugarwhatever armies came up through Mexico.

                If you watched the title cards the idea actually does make sense as most of Central America had fallen to Cuban-backed Communists (which, given the time, was entirely possible).

                The Original Red Dawn wasn’t as utterly ridiculous as it seems now.

                1. Ah. I see. the Cuban blitzkrieg passed through Arizona and New Mexico in a lightning pincer attack…to capture the key-strategic location of….

                  colorado.

                  “The Original Red Dawn wasn’t as utterly ridiculous as it seems now.”

                  right.

                  You’d probably do a better job of convincing me if you argued that “they weren’t Cubans = they were a million-man Cyborg army created by the Chinese…”

                  1. Obviously…duh

          2. The movie really sucks because I didn’t make the cut as an extra.

      2. Crumbling infrastructure, limited use of electricity, minimal legal-market economic activity…hell, the Norks would feel right at home in Detroit.

      3. Your screed would be much funnier without all those “L”s. Especially Buffarro.

  14. I welcome our new Nork overlords! All hail!

  15. 36000 Americans died in Korea defending Korea from Communism.

    Paramount should go fuck themselves.

    1. They don’t call it the forgotten war for nothing.

  16. Fucking pussies.

    1. Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks.

      1. BUT DICKS CAN ALSO FUCK ASSHOLES…

        1. Assholes who just want to shit on everything

          Pussies may think they can deal with Assholes their way

          But the only thing that can fuck an Asshole is a Dick

    2. They ought to add that to the lyrics of Team America.

      Pussies!
      FUCK YEAH!

  17. You know, every time I think the south park guys have overdone it with their satire, reality proves me wrong. Where will this madness end??? WILL SONY NOW HACK NETFLIX IN ORDER TO PREVENT STREAMING “TEAM AMERCIA”?

    1. Well, at least next week’s episode of South Park has written itself (again).

      1. Sure has! Lol

  18. Cleveland and Atlanta

    You know what they say: As Cleveland goes, so goes America.

    1. I thought it was “As Warty decides, Cleveland goes”?

      1. You know, that incident where the women were kidnapped and trapped in a basement for over a decade happened in Cleveland. Was it ever established that there was an accomplice?

        1. Couldn’t have been Warty – they were still alive.

          1. Oh right, like Warty is perfect.

          2. Let me put it this way, Warty puts on his assless chaps one leg at a time just like everyone else…

            1. Yeah but you omit a crucial aspect of this whole assless chaps affair…..his are made from human skin!!

          3. Dead giveaway…

  19. Huh. It’s typically a criminal act to pay terrorists in response to blackmail, but I guess this means bartering with them is still legal?

  20. With the usual caveat that this movie is private property, etc. etc. etc. Sony’s actions are only going to show that getting the bomb means wielding power — much as the US’s tendency to bomb non nuke countries willy nilly shows that the bomb means security.

  21. Does anyone remember the violence and protests over the ‘Last Temptation of Christ’? [William Defoe as Jesus!]
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095497/
    That was when film makers were brave. Not always talented (the movie sucks) but they didn’t nuckle under like pussies.

    1. The book was pretty cool, though. Kind of Faulkner-esque stream of consciousness. Like Kazantzakis wrote it high on acid.

    2. Hollywood is real brave, when it comes to making movies mocking Christians or Republicans. When it comes to a real, bloodthirsty tyrant, they’re nothing but a bunch of pansies.

      1. Right on. Instapundit said yesterday that we need to start persecuting commies again, because that’s the only time Hollywood gets serious about free speech.

        1. The sad thing is, it took them 15-20 years to grow the balls to protest the commie panic.

          They are sad little people with good hair.

      2. The Oscars next year are going to be epically weird. Assuming the Norks don’t order them canceled.

        1. I don’t care how bad The Interview might be, maybe nominating it for Best Picture could send a giant FYTW to North Korea.

  22. I’m not planning to watch Team America (again), but I will probably Netflix it while I do something else just to run up the numbers.

  23. If you scrap the ‘Fireworks’ background music, that’s a pretty metal way to die.

    1. Meh. Tried linking to the 1:30 mark for the bunch of pussies line.

  24. Can’t someone just hack Sony and put The Interview out on a torrent?

    That would be perfect.

    1. Well, if Sony Pictures’ entire computer system was actually deleted in the hack (as was reported), that may be impossible.

      Ironically.

      1. Kinda like going into Best Buy and typing “format c:” in a DOS prompt back in the day.

      2. *IRS asking Sony to host its email

      3. I find it hard to believe there’s not a single digital copy of The Interview, though.

        1. Whatever happened to Operation DVD Drop guy? Was he waiting for the official DVD releases or did he have a bunch of pirated copies already?

  25. If Obama had balls, he’d schedule a White House showing of a double bill of The Interview and Team America. But his foreign policy consists of appeasing enemies and pissing off friends.

    1. If it was a movie where the protagonists’ mission was to kill the head of the TEA Party, Obama would probably pass a “Memorandum” ordering it to be shown on every screen in the country for the next two years.

  26. Damn America, are you running for the biggest pussy in the galaxy or something?

  27. I am partially sympathetic to Sony’s decision to pull The Interview from theaters.

    Of course you are. What a shocker.

  28. Well, who has two thumbs and is watching Team America: World Police on Netflix when the kids are in bed? This woman!

  29. I love that movie! Maybe they should show it and then Fahrenheit 9/11 for how hard and soft totalitarianism/militarism works.

    1. “am socialist – I love that movie! ”

      I hate to break it to you, but Team America wasn’t pre-Socialist.

      1. “We were attacked by a giant socialist weasel”

      2. Don’t care. I don’t go to a movie because of its politics. I don’t give a shit what Matt stone thinks of Michael Moore and neither should you.

  30. I have to ask: Were there any threats of violence directed at theaters showing The Interview?

    I can’t recall seeing that actually reported, but I think I heard someone on TV mention it.

    If so, I “get” why theater chains would say no to it. Not that I like the situation or think they are necessarily making the right call, but I would imagine that no theater chain would risk the liability if someone actually pulled of any kind of attack at any theater that was running it.

    Just look at what Cinemark is going through with the Aurora shooting.

    Again, for the record, I’m not advocating the path the companies have taken, but given the state of business affairs in modern America, and the general lack of resolve and failure to think beyond “either/or” scenarios, I think I understand.

    If, however, this was simply a case of, “Eh, let’s not piss off NorKor”, then every company involved deserves every consequence coming down the pipe.

  31. Who gives a shit?
    Get a life people. . .

  32. This whole cluster-frack reminds me of the brouhaha surrounding the cartoons of Mohamed a few years back. Afterward, shame was heaped on the media that would not run the cartoons, and I remember seeing published wishes, expressing hope that media would grow some stones and not cave “the next time.” Well, folks, the next time has arrived, and behold the media, still caving.

    Apparently, unlike the terrorists of the middle east, the cyberterrorists really DO hate us for our freedoms, at least freedom of speech and the press. Sony and Paramount would be better off to “leak” “Interview” and “Team America” bundles, including commercial sponsorship blocks if they wanted to make a buck on the deal, to the online pirates for promiscuous distribution around the world. Then we can all mock North Korea in the privacy of our own homes and places of work.

    1. This seems the appropriate point to give kudos to Trey Parker and Matt Stone for having successfully shown both images of Mohammed (on South Park “Super Best Friends”) and the death of the (then) South Korean leader (in Team America).

      They deserve the Medal of Freedom for their bravery and integrity!

      1. Kim was really an alien cockroach who escaped in a tiny space ship. So they didn’t really kill him just his human host…

      2. Kim was really an alien cockroach who escaped in a tiny space ship. So they didn’t really kill him just his human host…

  33. Who are the world’s biggest pussies? We are!

  34. We’ll show ’em! We’ll boycott Nork products!

  35. As some of you know I’m a numbers person. Thus, I’m curious if anyone knows which regime has killed more people over the last 20 years– people killed through starvation caused by Stalinist central planning in NK or people killed by U.S. militarism in the Middle East. I honestly don’t know so post sources if you’ve got them.

    1. As some of you know I’m a numbers person.

      Well, zero is a number, so sure.

    2. So, I guess you’re more of a numbers person than a google person.

      1. Maybe I’m also a rhetorical question person.

        1. Ah, rhetorical questions: primary tools of the passive aggressive.

          Google “rhetorical question passive aggressive”. You’ll get some good links that way.

    3. Sure you are, MATT DAMON, sure you are…

  36. Kelly `s st0rry is great, on thursday I got a top of the range Fiat Multipla from having made $5941 thiss month and-more than, 10k lass-month . it’s definitly my favourite work I’ve ever had . I started this three months/ago and pretty much immediately started bringin home minimum $70 per hour .
    hop over to here ========== http://www.jobsfish.com

  37. Mainland China has had influence in the film industry as well.
    More than a few screenplays have been rewritten to remove the Chinese as villains to be replaced with perennial bad guys – North Korea.

    Netflix is still streaming Team America.
    I’m watching the Bridges at Toko Ri…

  38. Yesterday I picked up a brand new Lotus Esprit after making $6059 this ? 4 weeks past an would you believe $10 thousand this past-month; this is actually the most-comfortable work I’ve had . I actually started 10-months ago and pretty much immediately got minimum $80 per-hr . Get More Info @

    Try it, you won t regret it! …. http://cort.as/Mquv

  39. Did they provide the disclaimer that no cockroaches were harmed??

  40. I looked at the paycheck that said $4961 , I accept …that…my neighbours mother woz like they say actually making money part-time on there computar. . there dads buddy haz done this for under twelve months and just cleared the loans on their house and purchased a brand new Nissan GT-R: .
    try this site and free register ——— http://www.jobsfish.com

  41. my roomate’s ex-wife makes $60 /hr on the computer . She has been unemployed for 7 months but last month her payment was $12996 just working on the computer for a few hours. read the full info here …….
    ???????? http://www.paygazette.com

  42. My nomination for the most underrated movie in history. Profound and funny.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.