Film carrier sues BV over distrib policy

In a case that may have national ramifications for distrib and exhib webs, an Arizona film carrier has sued Buena Vista for allegedly making exhibitors in Nevada and Arizona breach their contracts with the celluloid deliverer.

Lawyers for Arizona Film Delivery Service filed a $ 100,000 suit against BV in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.

“We have contracts with clients and Buena Vista is inducing them to breach them,” claimed Bruce A. Nahin, attorney for the film delivery service.

Buena Vista distribution chief Richard Cook could not be reached for comment Thursday.

According to the suit, BV hired a group called Technicolor Entertainment Services (TES) to transport prints of their films to exhibs, who were then forced to use TES.

TES in turn brought in an overnight courier, Airborne Courier, which was not named in the complaint.

Nahin said that ironically the studio distribber asked his client to help out after TES and the new courier allegedly had problems with the distribution of several pix. Nahin said the company politely refused.

TES and Airborne Courier officials could not be reached for comment.

The change seriously affects business for the delivery services, since BV’s Disney’s product accounts for roughly 16% of the market.

Nahin said his client couldn’t understand why BV would hire the overnight couriers to handle the film prints.

Nahin said that if Buena Vista continues to make its contract exclusive to TES, it could become a nationwide problem for exhibs and film delivery services.

“Other distributors in other markets are paying close attention to this,” he said. “Buena Vista may find someday that nobody will deliver their film.”

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