NATO Denies Encouraging Members to Boycott Films in VOD Dispute
The National Association of Theatre Owners is denying press reports that it is encouraging its members to stop showing films released by Universal, Sony, Warner Bros and Fox, which have agreed to a new Premium Video On Demand service.
The Guardian and Business Insider reported this week that NATO is threatening to drop some of the summer's biggest blockbusters, including the upcoming Harry Potter movie. But the group issued a statement Thursday calling the reports "completely false," adding that "no one from the organizations responsible for the stories contacted anyone at NATO."
NATO insists “individual theater companies must and will make decisions about release window changes in their own company’s interest" and that it cannot and will not make those decisions for them, the statement concluded.
Universal, Sony, Warner Bros and Fox plan to offer films to rent for $30 for a period of two to three days through Direct TV 60 days after a movie's theatrical debut.
Theater owners, which usually get an exclusive period of four months to show movies, fear it could significantly reduce the box-office potential of new releases.
NATO previously issued a statement calling the plan a "surprise and strong disappointment."