‘Harry Potter’ screening venue draws French protest

Stadium screening means no exhib tax

Warner Bros. France’s decision to hold the Gallic preem of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” in 3D at a 12,000-seat stadium July 12 in Paris has sparked protests from local film guilds and exhibs.

Since the event is not in a traditional cinema, tickets won’t include the 10% tax that goes to the Centre National de Cinema, France’s national film and TV board, which allocates coin to support the film industry.

WB has already sold more than 8,000 tickets at the Paris-Bercy Omnisport Palais, at €25 ($36), substantially more than regular 3D screenings. Film opens wide the following day.

WB is the first distributor to have picked a non-theatrical venue for what looks set to be one of the biggest preems ever held in Gaul.

French film guilds worry that other distribs will follow the studio’s example and are lobbying for reform that would regulate distribs.

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