AMC theaters agree to book 'Alice'

Disney's plan to shorten theatrical window raised red flag

AMC Entertainment's theaters will follow Alice down the rabbit hole when Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" opens on March 5.

The theater chain, the second largest in the country, had delayed booking Tim Burton’s new movie, starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, because of Disney’s decision to compress the window between the movie's theatrical opening and its subsequent DVD release to just 12 weeks.

But, after what was viewed as a standoff by the industry, the Kansas City-based exhibitor began offering advance sales of tickets to "Alice" on Friday.

AMC CEO and president Gerry Lopez did not directly address the conflict, saying, "'Alice' looks terrific, and it promises to be the next 3D blockbuster. It is sure to please our guests -- many of whom have called and emailed -- and help us maintain box office momentum in 2010. As business models evolve for exhibitors as well as distributors such as Disney, it makes sense to focus on the many opportunities we have to improve our economics, so we can continue to invest in technology our guests want and ultimately, the guest experience in our theatres."

Separately, Disney has also made peace with Odeon and Vue Entertainment, two U.K.-based theater chains that had also threatened to boycott the movie.
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