Back to IndieWire

Boycott Cinemark? Theater Chain Blocks “Shame”

Boycott Cinemark? Theater Chain Blocks "Shame"

Cinemark, the nation’s third largest theater chain, is crippled by an old-fashioned conservative ideology that doesn’t seem fitting with its function to screen the seventh art. According to the Los Angeles Times, Cinemark won’t be booking Steve McQueen’s blistering new film “Shame,” because it has an NC-17 rating.

The company issues a statement: “Cinemark exhibits a wide variety of films for diverse audiences and will continue to do so. However, Cinemark as a company, has a long standing policy against showing NC-17 rated movies. Since “Shame” is rated NC-17, Cinemark has made the decision not to play the movie in our theatres.”

Carmike, the nation’s fourth leading theater chain, has also not booked the movie, which was one of my favorites from the Toronto International Festival.

When “Shame” hits video stores next year, the article reports, Fox Searchlight will also be handicapped because Wal-Mart, the country’s top retail outlet, won’t sell adults-only DVDs.

One remedy for such actions would be to boycott such theater chains unless they begin to change their stringent policies. An NC-17 rated film just means it’s for adults. Does Cinemark believe that movies for adults shouldn’t be screened in movie theaters?

This Article is related to: News and tagged ,



You love snuff movies – hate Christian films……look forward to when we all die – we'll see who's right.

dee williams

My husband and I are American Vets, he served in Bosnia nd I on the homefront. We served for every American Not just Tightasses like you.let freedom ring!

dee williams

Screw Cinemark, u assholes just handed cult status to SHAME on a gold platter! Remember Scorses. LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST? Its box office returns went through the roof because tightassed people like Cinemark refused to show it. And who willingly shops at walmart anyway?!? Mr. Fassbender, Sir, I salute you, for making a bold innovative choice in your career. I look forward to seeing ypu in many films to come. The modern day Valintino!


They don't want great movies like "Shame" in theatres, all they want are movies that are half in depth and brings in pre-teens into their theatres.


I can tell you, that first sentence could NOT be more true. This company is run by ultra conservative, ultra right leaning, hyper religious people. Havind said that, there's lots of nice people working under them who disagree politely with the CEOs. They aren't playing it because it offends them personally AND that nc-17 movies offer little $$ returns.


Anthony you rock I always support your blogs. This matter seems Mr. Steve Mcqueen himself doesn't really care.


I will be sending them a note of thanks!


It's still a free country and Cinemark is still free to choose what pictures it wants to show in its theaters without having to justify it to you or anyone else. Whether this movie is a work of art or just another "edgy", artsy piece of crap, everyone who wants to see it will be able to, whether Cinemark chooses to show it or not.

L.N. Smithee

How old are you, 20? There has never, ever been such a wide variety of "adult" entertainment to choose from as there is now, either in theaters, on home video, on cable TV, even online. Government censors are a thing of the past; multiplexes have dozens of choices every night. Nobody is standing in your way of seeing anything you want to see badly enough. Cinemark isn't making a decision of whether you will have access to Shame (which you've already seen), it's just saying their theaters won't screen it.

Grow up, Mr. Kaufman.


This may be partly economic. My understanding is that NC-17 movies typically don't do very well in theaters because they have that appearance of being porn, whether or not they are. How often do we hear about directors who make modifications to their film to avoid that NC-17 rating by the MPAA and barely sqeak into an R rating? More often than I can count.

The fact that you make this a case of those "dangerous conservatives" stifling movies or something I find quite humorous. The policy is probably more about their bottom line.


I see the prudes are out in force tonight. You wankers have no problems seeing violence and illegal acts but normal, legal sexuality makes your heads explode. That is NOT adult.


I've been avoiding mainstream theaters for years in favor of local places like the Alamo Drafthouse. But now that I know Cinemark has some standards, I think I'll give them a try.

Kate S

Boycott Cinemark and Wal-Mart? I think I'll buy some of their stock and give their gift certificates for Christmas. I'm sincerely grateful that they are willing to forego a few dollars for the sake of decency.



First of all, just because someone doesn't enjoy adult films it does not mean that they are not adults. What differs when it comes to films like 'Shame' is personality. There are some who enjoys films the one in question and there are some who don't. I, personally can't see a film when two people are constantly having sex, I am adult enough to know what happens behind a closed bedroom door, yet I don't have see it on screen. I don't meany any disrespect to Mr. Fassbender or Mr. Mcqueen here, they chose to make a film that is NC-17, and there are some who are not just comfortable watching it. In fact, I admire Cinemarks' and Walmart's decision. I believe when a film-maker makes a film, or a writer writes the script, I am sure there are billions of ideas for them in the atmosphere to choose.


Anthony Kaufman needs to grow up and behave as an adult if he wishes to see an Adult Film. It is the film makers right to make whatever type of film he or she wishes. It is Cinemarks right to screen whatever film it wishes to screen. Those of you who would seek to force Cinemark, Carmike and Wal-Mart to bend to your wishes are behaving like children. Judging from your behavior you are not old enough to see adult movies.


We think about art, they mean business.


Wal-Mart stocks plenty of "Unrated" material. Seems they should allow an NC-17 film with no worries. Unrated @ Wal-Mart link:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *