We live in strange times, folks. The way we consume media is rapidly changing. Theater culture is slowly dying thanks to lousy service, bad projection and rowdy audiences. High definition TVs and Blu-Ray mean that your home viewing experience can finally kick ass in the way you've always dreamed. This, of course, means the time between theatrical release and DVD release is shrinking. And theaters aren't happy about that. And it looks like Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is caught in the middle.
As Variety reports, here's the situation laid out nice and basic.
Alice in Wonderland is being released on March 5th. Disney wants the DVD on shelves less than three months later.
American theater exhibitors are uneasy about this because it means they'll have less time to screen the movie and therefore, less time to make money.
European theater exhibitors are a little more than uneasy. They're kinda' pissed off about the whole thing and many are threatening to completely boycott Alice in Wonderland.
The major Dutch theater chains have already announced that they're boycotting the film and major UK and Italian chains are threatening to join them. They argue that Disney is breaking the unspoken rule of allowing a minimum of four months between theatrical and home releases. Here's a quote from Youry Bredewold, representative for the Nation Board of Cinema Owners, on the situation:
"We will lose money due to our decision; we expected ('Alice') to become one of the most popular movies of 2010...But we decided we need to send a message to the whole industry: If you don't accept our terms, we will never show your movies again."