'Avengers: Age of Ultron': Hundreds of German Theaters Boycotting Marvel Film
The heroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron won't be assembling at a number of German theaters.
Theaters in 193 small towns in Germany are refusing to screen the Marvel blockbuster, citing Disney's raised rental fee for the film, according to German publication Deutsche Welle. In total, the film is being kept from 686 screens.
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Cinema owners told DW that they were taken aback when Disney announced it was upping the fee from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales. Additionally, Disney is cutting its advertising spend and will not provide advances for 3D glasses.
"We are worried, particularly about eastern Germany," Karl-Heinz Meier, spokesman for advocacy group I.G. Nord, told DW. "When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theaters to close."
A Disney rep issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that the studio wouldn't address the situation. "We don't discuss the negotiations that we are engaged in with our partners in exhibition," the statement reads.
The Joss Whedon-directed film, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans, opened April 23 in Germany. It got off to a big start at the international box office this weekend with a $201.2 million haul, including $9.3 million from the German box office, and hits U.S. theaters on May 1.
April 26 at 4:05 p.m. Updated with Disney's statement.
by Graeme McMillan
by Richard Newby