Exhibs in Argentina face strike

Projectionists demanding higher wages

BUENOS AIRES — Film projectionists will strike today in greater Buenos Aires to demand higher wages, possibly delaying the release of “Transformers” and “Venus” or cutting the number of screens on which they will unspool.

A union representing the workers called the 24-hour stoppage Wednesday after talks on a 40% salary increase broke down with exhibitors.  

Union leaders will meet today to discuss further measures if their demands are not met. 

The walkout comes on the day of the week that pics are released in Argentina and at the start of winter holidays, when admissions generally surge. Buenos Aires accounts for a third of the country’s 36 million people and most of its 1,000 screens.

The strike, however, isn’t expected to hit big chains like Cinemark, Hoyts General Cinema, Showcase Cinemas and Village Cinemas that operate a third of the local screens and dominate 70% of box office receipts. Their projectionists are represented by a different union.

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