A blockbuster movie is at the center of a dispute between the Walt Disney Co. and movie theater operators. The Wall Street Journal reports that a battle is going on behind the scenes of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”
“The head of the trade group representing the theaters told Walt Disney Studios he had received ‘an avalanche of complaints, concerns and fears’ from members after the movie studio imposed new conditions on theaters that wanted to show the ‘Avengers’ sequel, according to a copy of the letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the publication reports.
The new conditions reportedly include stipulations about “when cinemas can offer matinee discounts or alternate showings of ‘Avengers’ with other movies on the same screen; and new payment rules that the National Association of Theatre Owners said could over the long term raise prices for everyone,” WSJ reports.
The article adds: “Following the outcry from theaters, the studio is altering its approach on some issues, including the matinee cutoff and suggested payment limitations. The studio had outlined the requirements in its standard licensing agreement, which says how exhibitors can show a film but can be modified on a theater-by-theater basis.”
The new movie reportedly opened to $191.3 million in ticket sales over the weekend in the United States and Canada, second only to the original “Avengers” movie.
With the success of films including “Frozen” and “Cinderella,” and with new “Star Wars” movies on the horizon, Disney wields considerable power in the marketplace, the report notes.