I'm not at all surprised; it's an NC17-rated movie, so of course there'll always be those puritans who think it vile and ignoble.
From the Los Angeles Times:
While some marketing constraints have relaxed in the intervening years, and audiences (thanks to cable TV and the Internet) have been desensitized to sex and nudity, Fox Searchlight said some theater chains have so far declined to book Shame because of its adults-only rating. The studio refused to identify the chains, but Cinemark, the nation's No. 3 chain, later issued this statement in response to a query from The Times: "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."
In addition Carmike, the nation's No. 4 chain, has so far not booked "Shame." The chain declined to comment.
And also, as the piece states, when the film is released on DVD/Blu-ray next year, Fox Searchlight will eventually have the mountainous hurdle that is Wal-Mart to deal with, because the country's top retail outlet will not sell adults-only DVDs/Blu-rays, which could have a noticeable effect on sales.
However, the folks at Fox Searchlight aren't concerned (at least, if they are, they aren't saying so).
"Every major city in America will play 'Shame… I have no concerns. We've had no limitations getting the film where we wanted it," Steve Gilula, president of company, told the LA Times.
And of course, "where we wanted it" means major markets like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C – so-called *big cities.* You likely ain't gonna find Shame in those Bible Belt areas.
Shame opens this Friday, December 2; I actually think it'll open strong in the 5 cities it's scheduled to debut in tomorrow. The buzz around the film has been overwhelming; it's been mostly very well reviewed, with 48 out of 59 reviews giving it a Fresh rating currently on Rotten Tomatoes.