Tags: Hollywood | disney | star wars | the last jedi | movie theaters

Disney Insists Theaters Follow Top-Secret Guidelines for 'Last Jedi'

Disney Insists Theaters Follow Top-Secret Guidelines for 'Last Jedi'
Rian Johnson, director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and main characters of the film attend a promotional event at Byodoin Temple in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, on Sept. 12, 2017, ahead of the film's release in theaters in December. (Kyodo/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017 08:52 PM

Disney is putting the financial squeeze on the nation's movie theaters ahead of its big-screen release of "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" in December, The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the Journal, before exhibitors can begin screening the latest installment of the lucrative space opera – which will feature the return of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker – they have got to commit to a set of top-secret terms: Disney will collect around 65 percent of ticket revenue, and theaters have to show the film in their biggest movie auditorium for at least four weeks.

And if a theater violates any condition of the distribution pact, Disney can take an additional 5 percent cut in sales on a film likely to gross more than $500 million in the domestic market.

It is an offer they cannot refuse: Disney is one of the most powerful studios in Hollywood, and slumping box office revenue has been down 5 percent so far this year, the Journal reported.

"They're in the most powerful position any studio has ever been in, maybe since MGM in the 1930s," one unnamed film buyer told the Journal.

Disney's string of hits in recent years, fueled by its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009 and Lucasfilm in 2012, gives it sway over theater owners and control over every detail of a film's release, according to the Journal.

But the Disney muscle could crush a single-screen theatre in a small town, one owner told the Journal.

"There's a finite number of moviegoers in my market, and I can service all of them in a couple of weeks," said Lee Akin, who operates a single-screen theater in Elkader, Iowa — population 1,213.

"When [studios] get much bigger than the other guys, that's when all these wacky rules come into place."

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Before theaters can begin screening the latest installment of Star Wars, they have to commit to a set of top-secret terms, The Wall Street Journal reported.
disney, star wars, the last jedi, movie theaters
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2017-52-01
Wednesday, 01 November 2017 08:52 PM
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