Exhibs reject BV's 'Scary'

Four Spanish cinema chains have gone ahead with their threat not to screen “Scary Movie 4″ in protest of the rental terms demanded by distrib Buena Vista Intl.

Pic opened Friday, but not at theaters owned by Abaco-Cinebox, Cinesa, Yelmo Cineplex and Kinepolis, representing more than 40% of Spain’s commercial screens in Spain.

The four chains are targeting their campaign not only against BVI, but against all the Spanish arms of the Hollywood majors. The exhibs want to pressure the studios to drop average rentals from over 50% of box office to 47.5%.

“We’re on for the long haul if necessary. We also want the studios to respect release windows and get their backs behind marketing bows,” a Yelmo rep said.

BVI’s Spanish office told Daily Variety that “Scary Movie” would go out as planned on 400 copies. It has set up a dedicated Web site, wheretoseeit.com, which details 302 cinemas across Spain where pic’s showing.

But the rebel loops own many of the most popular sites in Spain and in some smaller towns, the film won’t play anywhere at all.

By JOHN HOPEWELL MADRID

Four Spanish cinema chains have gone ahead with their threat not to screen “Scary Movie 4″ in protest of the rental terms demanded by distrib Buena Vista Intl.

Pic opened Friday, but not at theaters owned by Abaco-Cinebox, Cinesa, Yelmo Cineplex and Kinepolis, representing more than 40% of Spain’s commercial screens in Spain.

The four chains are targeting their campaign not only against BVI, but against all the Spanish arms of the Hollywood majors. The exhibs want to pressure the studios to drop average rentals from over 50% of box office to 47.5%.

“We’re on for the long haul if necessary. We also want the studios to respect release windows and get their backs behind marketing bows,” a Yelmo rep said.

BVI’s Spanish office told Daily Variety that “Scary Movie” would go out as planned on 400 copies. It has set up a dedicated Web site, wheretoseeit.com, which details 302 cinemas across Spain where pic’s showing.

But the rebel loops own many of the most popular sites in Spain and in some smaller towns, the film won’t play anywhere at all.

Exhibitors’ lockout looks to have taken a chunk out of “Scary Movie 4’s” first-weekend figures. Pic was tracking at E522,000 ($653,000) for Friday and Saturday, with B.O. for some 60 of movie’s 400 prints’ still to come in for Saturday, per Nielsen EDI Spain.

That puts pic on track to gross around $1.2 million-$1.6 million for its first weekend in Spain, which compares to a first full-weekend $3.9 million for “Scary Movie 3″ in April 2004. Some of the shortfall can be put down to glorious early summer weather in Spain. Even so, exhibs’ industrial action looks to have sizably dented “SM4’s” bow.

Just five years ago, the Mouse House would have won this scrap easily.

But Spain’s exhib sector is now far stronger and better organized. That said, Hollywood studios had around a 67% combined market share in Spain last year.

But this dispute has the potential to become a political football in a country where anti-American feeling is growing.

Exhibitors’ lobby FECE has blamed Culture Minister Carmen Calvo for failing to curb the power of the Hollywood majors in Spain.

The fear for the U.S. studios is that the government might side with the local exhibs as an easy way to curry favor with voters.

Just five years ago, the Mouse House would have won this scrap easily.

But Spain’s exhib sector is now far stronger and better organized. That said, Hollywood studios had around a 67% combined market share in Spain last year.

But this dispute has the potential to become a political football in a country where anti-American feeling is growing.

Exhibitors’ lobby FECE has blamed Culture Minister Carmen Calvo for failing to curb the power of the Hollywood majors in Spain.

The fear for the U.S. studios is that the government might side with the local exhibs as an easy way to curry favor with voters.

Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0