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UK Theater Chains to Boycott 'Alice in Wonderland'?

By:
Feb 12, 2010 | 4:42am EST

As Disney looks to shorten the theatrical release window of Tim Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland, the UK's largest cinema chains are eyeing a boycott of the film, The Guardian reports.

Disney wants to cut the gap between the theatrical opening and the DVD release to 12 weeks, down from the standard 17, but the big exhibitors refuse to book any film that doesn't have a guaranteed four-month run.

If neither side backs down, the film will not play at any Odeon, Vue or Cineworld site across the country, the newspaper said. Those theaters represent 95% of the UK's 3D screens.

However, Disney said the royal charity premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square will go ahead regardless, because that isn't a commercial booking.

Disney's distribution chiefs, Chuck Viane and Bob Chapek, have flown to the UK to speak with exhibitors over the next couple of days, but sources told The Guardian that the studio is not offering more favorable revenue-sharing terms to tempt them to accept the shorter window.

Odeon and Vue have already pulled all trailers and promotional materials and have stopped selling advance tickets.

The film is due out on March 5.

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