Exhibs protest against early homevid release

Italo distributors and exhibitors are up in arms about the local homevid release of Universal pic “Miami Vice” just two months after its theatrical outing.

There is a gentleman’s agreement that sets the window between releases at three months, but that isn’t always respected.

U is making “Vice” available on DVD in Italy on Dec. 6, just two months after it hit Italo screens. Released by UIP Oct. 6, “Vice” is No. 10 at the Italo box office and has pulled in a paltry E3.2 million ($4 million) in four weeks.

“A less than three-month window is simply unacceptable,” said UIP Italy topper Richard Borg, underscoring that “Vice” is still playing.

“Once again we are being deprived of the potential value of our product,” said Paolo Protti, head of Italo exhibitors body ANEC, warning that he intends to urge legislative intervention.

Furor over Italy’s shrinking window comes amid a soft box office climate, down more than 10% since September, compared with the same period in 2005.

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