Independent Theatre Owners in Germany Boycott 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Independent theatres owners in Germany have decided against showing the Marvel blockbuster, Avengers: Age of Ultron. The owners control over 700 screens, but have decided to boycott as a protest against what they see as punitive booking terms.
Avengers: Age of Ultron opened this past weekend across 44 international territories to a massive $201.2 million. The German theaters claim that Disney raised its rental fee from 47.7% to 53% of ticket sales, according to broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Disney has also cut its contribution to advertising, and done away with advances for 3-D glasses.
“Approaching the industry with these conditions is completely unusual and, for me, a scandal,” said Andreas Kramer from industry lobby group Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater.
The owners of these indie cinemas claim that the raised rental fee, digitalisation, rising staff and marketing costs could force many to go out of business. Many of the theatres that have boycotted the movie as based in small German towns.
Karl-Heinz Meier of I.G. Nord, added, “We are worried — particularly about Eastern Germany. When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theatres to close.”
This may be the first of many protests this coming year. “The new Star Wars film is coming out at the end of the year. Disney manages its distribution — things could get interesting,” Meier said.