Tuesday, February 23, 2010

High Noon in Wonderland: AMC to Boycott Disney's Latest?

“Wow, that was fast,” is an increasingly common sentiment while browsing DVD new releases, and consumers aren’t the only ones taking notice. The theater to DVD turn-around window has all but slammed closed of late, and AMC, America’s second largest theater chain, is ready to put its foot down.

The corporation is in a stand-off with the Walt Disney Company after they announced plans to make Tim Burton’s upcoming “Alice in Wonderland” remake available on home video within three months of its March 5th theatrical debut, a move which cinema owners are concerned will defer audiences to cheaper rental outlets.

A compromise is expected to be reached for the mutual benefit of both parties, but less than two weeks out, AMC still has yet to agree to show “Alice in Wonderland” on any of its 4500+ screens, effectively boycotting the Disney tentpole. Internationally, two U.K. theater chains have vowed not to carry the film if the DVD either, as have four chains in the Netherlands.

It seems crazy for Disney to potentially forfeit so much revenue over a difference of five weeks in their home video release, even if DVD and blu-ray account for a larger slice of their pie. AMC’s silent warning is a serious one, and one Disney would be wise to heed.

Perhaps if their fear is letting "Wonderland" slip from the public consciousness before the DVD release, both parties will agree to simply precede screenings with, "Coming soon to home video."

Thanks to FilmJunk

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