“Hotel Mumbai,” the terrorism thriller starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer, is being pulled from all theaters in New Zealand following the mass shootings in Christchurch. The movie’s local distributor Icon Films announced the decision March 18, just several days after “Hotel Mumbai” opened in theaters on March 14. Fifty people were killed in Christchurch last week after an armed gunman opened fire in two mosques.
“Following the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand, Icon Film Distribution have announced the suspension of the film ‘Hotel Mumbai’ from all cinemas in New Zealand,” Icon Films said in a statement (via New Zealand’s News Hub). “Upon hearing about the attacks on Friday, Icon Film Distribution immediately suspended all advertising for the film in New Zealand. After consultation with local exhibition partners, the decision was made to suspend the film out of respect for a country in mourning.”
Icon Films has temporarily suspended the release of “Hotel Mumbai” until March 28. The film debuted in the number two position at the New Zealand and Australian box office over its debut weekend, falling behind only “Captain Marvel.” Some theaters began canceling screenings of the film in the wake of the terror attacks.
“Hotel Mumbai,” directed and co-written by Anthony Maras, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year to great acclaim. The film takes a docu-realism approach to retelling the 2008 siege of the Taj Hotel by a group of terrorists in Mumbai, India, weaving together the stories of different survivors, including a waiter (Dev Patel) and a desperate couple (Armie Hammer and Nazanin Boniadi) who are forced to make unthinkable sacrifices to protect their newborn child.
In his positive review out of TIFF, IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehrlich called “Hotel Mumbai” a “lucid, humane, and almost unwatchably harrowing drama.” The film is opening in U.S. theaters on March 22 from distributors Bleecker Street and Shivhans Pictures.