Europe cinemas refuse to screen Alice in Wonderland due to Disney DVD release plans

posted by HowardBHaas on February 25, 2010 at 7:40 am

Some theaters in Europe are threatening to not show Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” because of the studios decision to release the DVD only three months after the film hits theaters.

Disney said it intended to release the “Alice” DVD about three months after the movie appears in theaters, compared with the typical four- to six-month window. Like other studios, Disney is experimenting with shorter windows in response to declining DVD sales. Theater owners, especially in Europe, fear that will discourage consumers from going to theaters amid a period of record revenue. Exhibitors are also upset because they have recently spent millions of dollars upgrading thousands of screens to show 3-D movies.

The flare-up illustrates how an arcane topic once only of interest to Hollywood executives can affect moviegoers around the world.

No U.S. theater owners have threatened to boycott “Alice” so far, although some have said they will pull it from their screens once it hits the home video market.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

Comments (6)

William on February 25, 2010 at 7:54 am

It looks like the UK cinema boycott threat ended on Wednesday between Odeon and Disney. A few British sites are reporting this.

William on February 25, 2010 at 7:56 am

That LA Times article is from Feb. 17 2010.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on February 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

Yep. Old article. Odeon has backed down from their boycott. This is the beginning of the end, folks.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on February 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm

Chris… maybe we are both right and wrong… the problem is that many business people are totally gutless these days and will NOT fight the giants stand behind their beliefs.
Personally, I hope box office sales are a disaster because, as others have said that Disney has gone to hell. That is, ever since Mr. Eisner screwed up everything.
Poor Walt must be turning in his grave.

John Fink
John Fink on February 26, 2010 at 2:49 pm

In the USA AMC backed down. The real question where is Tim Burton on all of this? While I’m not a huge fan of his (in fact I think he’s over rated) – I have to wonder as a filmmaker why isn’t he stepping up advocating for a full theatrical run that encourages customers to see the film in theaters verses waiting a very short time for the DVD. You bet James Cameron would be up in arms about this. Then again IFC Films has been shortchanging world class filmmakers by putting little to no effort into their theatrical releases – I’ve seen future, when day and date releases happen – it ain’t pretty.

You’ll end up watching an Standard Def DVD full of digital artifacts off a digital pre-show projector bought at Office Max in a 35 seat screening room for the low price of $12.50 a ticket. In case your wondering I’ve just described Auditorium #5 at IFC Center.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on March 7, 2010 at 1:05 pm

my (unofficial) comments about the big opening weekend of Alice in Wonderland, 2 big screens, is “lousy attendance” where I work!

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