Theaters Refuse to Pre-Sell ‘Iron Man 3’ Tickets

AMC and Regal chains clash with Disney

By Nate Wooley, InvestorPlace Writer

Walt Disney logoTwo of the largest movie theater chains are fighting with Disney (NYSE:DIS) over the way revenue is split for advance tickets.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the two chains — Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) and AMC Theaters – are refusing to pre-sell tickets for Iron Man 3 without a larger share of the revenue.

At issue is a new effort by Disney to renegotiate the terms under which the studio and theaters share revenue. In a typical deal, the studio can get more than half of the revenue for advance and opening weekend sales. The two chains — which combine to control more than 12,000 screens in the U.S. — say that Disney is seeking to increase its percentage too much.

“It goes well beyond anything I have seen in my time in the industry,” Gerry Lopez, CEO of AMC said. “It’s enough for us to pause and push back.” Reports say that Disney is attempting to force the theaters to accept the higher rates for all its films, not just Iron Man 3.

The fourth largest movie chain, Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ:CKEC), reached a settlement with Disney over a similar matter last Thursday.

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