You would think every cinema in the land would be clamoring to show The Avengers: Age of Ultron. The second movie in The Avengers franchise is sure to be a box office smash. The opening outing of the superhero ensemble made $1.5 billion at the box office in 2012, while the second is expected to make even more. Surely, this is great news for everyone involved in the cinema business?
Well, not entirely. A group of smaller movie theaters in Germany is boycotting The Avengers: Age of Ultron in response to what is seen as the oppressive business practices of Disney. Disney is currently demanding theaters pay back 53 percent of their total ticket sales to the corporation, which is a figure in excess of the norm. The group of small theaters in Northern Germany, known as IG Nord, are claiming any figure over 50 percent is untenable for smaller, independent cinemas - most of whom only make a profit on the selling of snacks and drinks.
They fear that acquiescence to Disney's demands means that other studios will also follow suit and squeeze more money out of the already struggling independent cinema market. According to Frankfurter Allgemeine, which describes the situation as a David vs. Goliath battle, the revolt originally started with around 160 theaters in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein, however it has now spread, with around 600 theaters no longer showing The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Andreas Kramer of the Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater (Association of German Film Theatres) claims Disney has breached an unwritten rule which governs how large studios deal with smaller cinemas. Traditionally, theaters in smaller towns have been given better deals than the franchise multi-screen cineplexes in larger towns and cities because it is understood they can hold less screenings and have limited space. Currently, the larger cinema complexes are already paying the demanded 53 percent.
Disney has yet to comment on the disagreement, claiming: "It is not our policy to comment on confidential details of our business openly."
Can you see them banning ALL of this awesome? Don't do it!
Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine