Sony's response was:
"Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome."
Many theater chains who ultimately decided to drop the film prior to Sony's announcement have now come out and said the cancellation is due to Sony's lack of confidence in the film. Regal Cinemas made a statement saying they feel the cancellation is due to negative press over the film and that the studio had lacked confidence since news first broke of the film. Others feel that it would have destroyed the usual high box office numbers over Christmas and would have forced families to not see films such as Annie and Night at the Museum 3. Rest assured, those are still your holiday releases for this year and you won't have Seth Rogen or James Franco present to ruin it.
I don't think this is a bad move by the studio. People online are bitching about freedom and how the studio has given into the hacker demands, but the way I see it is this whole situation had no victorious outcome. You either screen the movie and potentially risk thousands of American lives or you pull the movie, lose some money, and give the hackers what they want. I don't see it as a freedom issue. I see it as playing things a bit safe and trying to avoid something terrible. Whether the threats had validity or not, I can guarantee that no one wanted anything going down at any theater in America. The last thing we need is more Century 16 shootings or bombings. Come on, people. Just wait until Sony releases it on VOD or DVD and shut up about it.
In my opinion, The Interview was a stupid premise to begin with and if I remember correctly it had already received a delay due to the subject matter. It was a gamble by Sony to even make this movie and they obviously lost the bet.