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Spain back in gear

Mouse, exhibs on same road for 'Cars'

The boycott of Disney pics in Spain looks to be over: The distributor has pacted with the theater chains that refused to screen its “Scary Movie 4” on slightly better rental terms for the exhibs.

The rebel loops — Yelmo Cineplex, Abaco-Cinebox and Cinesa — look set to bow “Cars,” which opens Thursday in Spain, and Disney movies throughout the year, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

The compromise pact, confirmed to Daily Variety by Yelmo Cineplex and Abaco-Cinebox, sees Disney drop its cut of rentals from 53%-54% of total B.O. to nearer 50%.

Terms of the Cinesa deal are unknown, but it is believed Cinesa will release “Cars” and “Pirates.”

Buena Vista Intl. in Spain declined to comment.

Disney execs from the Los Angeles home office, Europe and Spain struck new terms with toppers from Yelmo Cineplex at last week’s Cinema Expo trade fair in Amsterdam.

The impending “Cars” bow probably accelerated an agreement.

Despite owning or operating more than 40% of commercial screens in Spain, the exhibitors could not afford to miss out on a big title such as “Cars”; Disney could not afford to bow “Cars” without their screens.

According to provisional Nielsen EDI figures Monday, “Scary Movie 4” has grossed just e2.8 million ($3.5 million) in Spain after 10 days, way off “Scary Movie 3’s” $9 million after 10 days, although “SM3” had a better release date in March.

The Disney agreement may not mean a permanent ceasefire in Hollywood-Spanish exhibitor hostilities, however.

“We will screen ‘Cars’ and other Disney movies under the same conditions we were offered for ‘Scary Movie 4,’ which we declined,” said a Yelmo Cineplex spokesman. “But Spain is still the most expensive country in Europe regarding distributor rentals.”

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