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‘Iron Man 3' held up by theatres thanks to disributor...Disney.
Here are three articles that chronicles why big theatre chains in the U.S.A. refused to exhibit IRON MAN 3.

April 25, 2013 By Mike Roe

Disney, AMC settle 'Iron Man 3' release battle (trailer)

"Iron Man 3" is coming to the nation's second-largest movie theater chain after all — AMC Entertainment settled a dispute with Walt Disney Studios that threatened next week's Iron Man launch.

AMC and Disney settled their dispute Thursday, leading the theater to reopen sale on Fandango for both “Iron Man 3” showings and the Iron Man Marathon featuring all three Iron Man movies, plus the Avengers movie.

“We thank our partners at Disney for working with us to achieve economical terms, so we can present our guests one of the biggest blockbusters of 2013 and solidly kick off the summer movie season," AMC said in a release.

Disney owns Marvel Studios, which puts out many of the superhero movies based on Marvel Comics characters. The Los Angeles Times reports that Disney wanted 65 percent of ticket sales, while studios normally only take around 50 percent.

Here in Los Angeles, Disney is giving AMC its own crosstown competition — they own the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, which is also screening "Iron Man 3" and the Iron Man Marathon, even including special guests like Stan Lee.

This isn’t the first time superhero action has set movie studios and theaters at odds — Warner Brothers demanded 65 percent back in 1992 for “Batman Returns,” according to Forbes.

AMC’s Gerry Lopez told the L.A. Times last week that Disney had put the theater chain “in a very, very uncomfortable situation.” AMC previously fought Disney in 2010, threatening not to show “Alice In Wonderland” due to the studio’s plans to release the DVD shortly after its theatrical release.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney is still in negotiations with Regal Cinemas, which isn’t selling tickets yet for “Iron Man 3.” Disney apparently felt justified to demand the increased share following the success of the Marvel movies and the upcoming relaunch of the “Star Wars” franchise, according to the Journal.

This also isn’t the first time the “Star Wars” franchise has been used to get more money from ticket sales — 20th Century Fox got a 90 percent cut for opening weekend at some theaters for the first two “Star Wars” prequels, according to Forbes.

It remained unclear at press time where negotiations stood with Cinemark, which has also not been selling advance tickets for “Iron Man 3.”

Disney and AMC executives have declined further comment.

Regal And AMC End Disney Renegotiation Dispute: Advance Ticket Sales Begin For ‘Iron Man 3'


2ND UPDATE 2:30 PM: The largest domestic movie theater chain Regal Entertainment says this post is going up on its Facebook page: “Regal has Iron Man 3! After some extensive talks with Disney, we’re glad to say that Tony Stark will definitely be in our theatres for Iron Man 3. We’ve got Fandango working overtime right now to place tickets back on sale at all Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards Theatres.”

UPDATE 12:37 PM: AMC just released this pro forma statement. (Don’t you love how everybody is friends again?): “Iron Man 3 tickets are now on sale and we’re excited to welcome guests to the 9 PM debut and Marvel’s Iron Man Marathon at AMC, both on May 2. We thank our partners at Disney for working with us to achieve economical terms so we can present our guests with one of the biggest blockbusters of 2013 and solidly kick off the summer movie season.”

BREAKING… As I first broke the news on April 16th, AMC was one of the biggest theater chains refusing to put Iron Man 3 tickets on advance sale even though this summer’s hotly anticipated movie opens on May 3rd. That’s because Disney decided to leverage the film in order to renegotiate the studio’s future terms with the chains beginning with this humongous Marvel blockbuster. At one point AMC, Regal, and Carmike were among those holding out. On Tuesday, Regal with 7,000 screens in 540 locations yanked standees, movie posters and other marketing materials for Iron Man 3. Disney told exhibitors it hasn’t negotiated its terms with the movie chains in several years — not even for Summer 2012's huge tentpole The Avengers — so the studio thinks it’s due for a new overall deal on future Disney titles. Those include not just Marvel sequels but also Lucasfilm’s new Star Wars series as well as Pixar toons. The studio spent Cinema-Con in Las Vegas bargaining with the exhibition community, some of whose chains pushed back. The result was an impasse with a number of circuits — and AMC refused to put IM3 tickets on sale until there was an accord. AMC had scheduled Iron Man movie marathons for May 2nd. All along distributors and exhibitors expected a resolution to this impasse — but this really went down to the wire with AMC. It’s not unusual for Hollywood studios to renegotiate their terms on the eve of the release of a hot movie. And it doesn’t get much hotter than Iron Man 3 which is projected to earn a staggering $150 million during it’s 3-day non-holiday domestic weekend.

Disney Settles Dispute With Theaters Over ‘Iron Man 3’

By Michael White & Christopher Palmeri

The three largest U.S. cinema chains reached agreements to show Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s “Iron Man 3,” settling a revenue-sharing dispute that threatened the first big film of the summer movie season.

Regal Entertainment Group (RGC), the largest, and No. 2 AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. were accepting online orders for the May 3 opening of “Iron Man 3,” the companies said yesterday. The No. 3 chain, Cinemark Holdings Inc. (CNK), also agreed to sell tickets, according to a Disney spokesman. Terms weren’t disclosed.

With the accords, Disney’s Marvel unit and the exhibitors avert a potentially costly dispute. The chains had resisted the studio’s demand for a bigger share of ticket sales. “Iron Man 3” is projected to be one of the biggest movies of the year, with opening weekend sales of $151 million in the U.S., according to The summer season accounts for about 40 percent of annual domestic cinema sales.

“We thank our partners at Disney for working with us to achieve economical terms so we can present our guests with one of the biggest blockbusters of 2013 and solidly kick off the summer movie season,” AMC said in a statement yesterday.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger has focused on franchise pictures like “Toy Story,” “Iron Man” and “Star Wars,” and is using its most popular films to seek better terms from theaters.

Negotiating Clout

The Burbank, California-based company, which also plans to release “Monsters University,” “The Lone Ranger” and “Planes” this summer, has spent $15 billion since 2006 purchasing the Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm film studios.

Big budget movies typically command a larger share of the box-office take than the average for studios, which get about 52 percent of annual ticket revenue after cinema operators deduct a small percentage for overhead, according to Eric Wold, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. in San Francisco.

Disney had asked for as much as 65 percent of the revenue, the Los Angeles Times reported this week. Cinemark spokesman James Meredith didn’t respond to requests for comment. The other companies declined to discuss their negotiations in detail.

“‘Iron Man’ is going to be a hit no matter what, but you don’t want this kind of tension going into the most lucrative part of the year.” Phil Contrino, chief analyst for researcher, said in a telephone interview. “It’s a relief.”

Movie’s Open

“Iron Man 2,” released in 2010, opened with $128.1 million in U.S. weekend sales, according to Box Office Mojo. Last year’s top-grossing film, “Marvel’s The Avengers,” generated $207.4 million. Contrino said the slate of movies being released in May could lift results in the second quarter above last year’s.

Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, was little changed at $61.95 at 10:18 a.m. in New York. The shares had climbed 25 percent this year through yesterday. Regal, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, slipped 0.1 percent to $17.64. Cinemark, in Plano, Texas, added less than 1 percent to $29.11. AMC is owned by China’s Dalian Wanda Group Corp.

Summer accounted for $4.3 billion of last year’s record $10.8 billion in ticket revenue in the U.S. and Canada, according to the researcher Box Office Mojo.

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