UIP, Teuton exhibs chalk up ‘Hulk’ deal

Even steeper rates to come with 'Van Helsing' release

BERLIN — Box office prospects for “The Hulk” improved in Germany Friday after UIP reached a compromise with exhibs Cinemaxx and Kinopolis over rental prices for the film.

The exhibs boycotted the pic’s July 3 opening because of the pricing dispute.

Cinemaxx, Germany’s second-largest theater chain with 356 screens 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 not carry “The Hulk.” Kinopolis agreed to do likewise, but by Friday both had started to screen “The Hulk.”

It remains unclear whether the deal includes agreements on prices for upcoming UIP pics including “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” which opens July 24, or whether a greater 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 monster pic “Van Helsing.”

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