Cinemas threaten Disney boycott

By Ronnie Dungan

February 18th 2010 at 10:26AM
Cinemas threaten Disney boycott

According to reports, several European cinema chains are threatening to boycott Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

According to a report in the FT, the row has broken out over Disney's proposed plans to bring forward the release of the DVD by a month to piggyback the large-screen marketing. Cinemas are concerned that this will affect box-office sales of the film.

"Disney is not keeping its part of the bargain," Youry Bredewold, a representative for Pathe and the Dutch National Board of Cinema Owners commented.

"There is an agreement between movie distributors and cinema owners that there must be a window of at least four months between the cinema release and the DVD release."

He said that cinema chains representing 80 per cent of the Dutch market would not show the film.

"We will lose money due to our decision," he said. "We expected this to become one of the most popular movies of 2010.

"But we decided we need to send a message to the whole industry: if you don't accept our terms we will never show your movies again."

No UK cinema chain has publicly backed a boycott of the film but there is growing concern about the longer-term implications of the possible shortening of the theatrical release window.