Is Mickey Mouse being a bully? Some independent theater owners in Germany are boycotting "Avengers: Age of Ultron," and they may extend this boycott to future Disney-distributed movies like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." This may end up hurting the indie theaters (and fans) more than anything, but the point they're trying to make is that Disney's new demands are already pushing them out of business.

What are they mad about? As Variety noted, the theater owners (who control about 700 screens, mostly in smaller towns) are protesting what they allege to be punishing booking terms. Deutsche Welle reports claim that Disney raised its rental fee from 47.7% to 53% of ticket sales; exhibitors also claim Disney stopped its advances for 3-D glasses and cut its contribution to advertiser costs. The independent exhibitors say the increased fees, and other rising costs, may force them out of business. One lobby group rep called the conditions "a scandal." But apparently they are willing to negotiate and said they'd accept a rental fee increase to 50% of ticket sales, but not more than that.

Meanwhile, "Age of Ultron," which opens May 1 in the U.S., has already made more than $200 million in international markets.
categories Movies