There has been a struggle between Walt Disney Studios and movie theater chains over how revenue from ticket sales for the much-anticipated “Iron Man 3” will be split.
On Tuesday, April 23, Regal Entertainment pulled all of their standees, movie posters and other marketing materials for “Iron Man 3” over the dispute. Regal Entertainment is the nation’s largest theater owner with 7,000 screens in 540 locations. This fight is detracting from what was expected to be one of the biggest movies of 2013. “Iron Man 3” premieres May 3, 2013. The Walt Disney Company is hosting a star-studded premiere Wednesday night for the film in Hollywood.
Last week, Regal Entertainment and AMC Entertainment stopped selling advance tickets for “Iron Man 3.” Their explanation was that Disney wanted too much of the box office revenue — up to 65%. Cinemark, the nation’s third-largest chain, is also not selling advance tickets for “Iron Man 3.” The demand for a bigger cut is not just for “Iron Man 3,” though. Reports say that Disney wants better terms on other movies as well. In general, studios collect 50% to 55% of ticket sales, depending on the movie.
The Walt Disney Company has not released any official statements, but studio executives argue that Disney is justified in seeking improved revenue splits to help offset the rising cost of making movies. Disney’s contract with exhibitors has not changed for seven years, regardless of the significant investments they have made in acquiring and developing new properties from Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm. However, theater executives maintain that Disney’s demands are unjustifiable. AMC’s Chief Executive Gerry Lopez stated that Disney’s stance “puts us in a very, very uncomfortable situation.”
What do you think of the dispute? Do you think Disney should be able to make more money on their films to help cover production costs?
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