Unease in American cinemas with the decision of Black Widow

Image of Black Widow (2020)

Two weeks ago, Walt Disney’s official plan to bring the film was confirmed “Black Widow” / “Black Widow” both to theaters and to Disney + on July 9. Even this past weekend, the promotional campaign was rekindled with a new trailer. A decision that undoubtedly affects the entire film industry, and that has once again put on the table the already usual confrontation between film chains and distributors.

In the past, there have been some pulses, and without going any further, recently there has been some kind of confrontation —the real reasons are unknown—, which caused, for example, “Raya and the Last Dragon” to have a theatrical release. quite limited in Spain. Now an article in The Wall Street Journal points out that the decision made for the Marvel Studios film would have caused new differences between the House of the Mouse and the chains of cinemas of the United States.

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Worried about surviving in a post-pandemic world, a group of theater owners are considering ways to strike back at Disney, according to sources at The Wall Street Journal. “We have not made any threats,” said AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. Chairman Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. He added, however, that “it is widely known that AMC has threatened not to show films if we could not find commercial conditions that seemed acceptable to us ”.

Although Disney declined to comment on its current relationship with the theater chains, the company said in the announcement about the premiere of “Black Widow” that it was happy to offer consumers more possibilities to watch the film safely.

Tensions between Disney and North American movie theaters appeared to reach a boiling point following the announcement that “Stripe and the Last Dragon” would premiere both in theaters and on the Disney + streaming platform in March.

Tony Beaverson, owner of Big Horn Cinemas in Cody, Wyoming, then said: “I’m going to put ‘Stripe,’ but it will probably be the last Disney title I put out.” For its part, Cinemark Holdings Inc. -the third largest chain of cinemas in the United States- chose to boycott Raya. Harkins Theaters, which has more than 30 national locations, also chose not to screen the film, and Cineworld Group PLC’s Regal Entertainment Group did not offer ‘Raya’ at most of its locations.

Beaverson added that the titles available in July will play an important role in deciding whether to delay the premiere of Disney’s “Black Widow.” Other movies currently slated to hit theaters ahead of Black Widow are the Fast & Furious sequel “F9” on June 25 and “Top Gun: Maverick” on July 2.

Sources close to the situation explain that Disney formerly ensured a higher percentage of ticket sales from cinemas during the time periods in which films were screened exclusively. When Disney offers movies on its digital platform, it can keep all the revenue, which means that cinemas lose a lot of the profits that they normally would.

It is not the first time that theaters have expressed their frustration with Disney. Back in 2013, AMC and Regal refused to sell tickets online for “Iron Man 3” after Disney demanded a higher share of ticket sales. Although the issue was ultimately resolved, the terms of the agreement were never disclosed. Disney also caused a stir when it required theaters to pay 65% ​​of ticket sales, more than the traditional 50% cast to which theaters are used, for the 2017 film “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” .

Via information | The Wall Street Journal