‘Hulk’ unleashed in German plexes

Cinemaxx, Kinopolis settle with UIP over film's rental terms

BERLIN — Box office prospects for “The Hulk” improved July 4 after UIP reached a compromise with German exhibs Cinemaxx and Kinopolis over rental prices for the film. The dispute had initially led the two exhibs to boycott the pic on its July 3 opening.

Cinemaxx, Germany’s second-largest theater chain with 356 screens nationwide and 30% of the multiplex market, and Kinopolis have declined to comment on the deal, although UIP appears to have backed down from its asking price of 52.5% of the pic’s local box office take.

Cinemaxx CEO Hans-Joachim Flebbe said early last week that the exhib would not go along with UIP’s new price demands and would therefore not carry “The Hulk.” Move was followed by Kinopolis’ decision to do likewise, but by July 4 both exhibs had started to screen “The Hulk.”

It remains unclear whether the deal includes agreements on prices for upcoming UIP pics such as “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” which opens July 24, or whether a bigger dispute regarding UIP’s long-term pricing has been resolved. The distrib had been pushing to raise minimum floor terms for non-urban exhibs from 47.5% to 52.5% with “The Hulk” and up to 55% across the board starting next year with Stephen Sommers’ monster pic “Van Helsing.”

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