'American Made' Pulled from Leading Theater Chains in Russia

David James/Universal Studios
'American Made' was pulled from two major Russian cinema chains.

Universal was reportedly unhappy with a 10 percent commission on ticket sales introduced by the local online ticket service with the same owner as the chains.

Major Russian cinema chains Formula Kino and Cinema Park, owned by tycoon Alexander Mamut, have canceled their plans to screen American Made amid a conflict with Universal over a local online ticket service that is also owned by Mamut.

A spokesman for Rambler & Co, another company owned by Mamut, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the movie, which opened this past weekend at other theaters across Russia, was pulled from the two chains.

He wouldn't elaborate on the reasons, but local business daily Vedomosti reported that the Russian office of Universal Pictures International (UPI), which distributes the movie in the country, was unhappy with a 10 percent commission on ticket sales introduced by Rambler's online ticket service and requested changes to the exhibition contract with the chains. The latter apparently preferred to cancel the exhibition of the movie.

UPI's Russian office did not reply to THR's request for comment.

Formula Kino and Cinema Park account for 15.3 percent of all screens in Russia. American Made opened on around 900 screens but should have opened on around 1,030 screens under the original plan.

Unless the conflict is sorted out, the situation could impact other Universal releases in Russia.

Mamut acquired Cinema Park and Formula Kino, Russia's No. 1 and No. 2 cinema chains, respectively, in the industry's biggest-ever consolidation drive this past March. He also owns the historic movie theater Pioner and has a rental contract on another one, Khudozhestvenny.