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ITALO EXHIBS SLAM ‘DAY’ VID DATE

ROME — As the sell-through homevid of “Independence Day” hits stores across Italy today, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Italia has come under attack for the second time over the rushed release.

National homevideo retailers association Unisoft protested recently the decision to withhold rental editions. Italy’s film exhibitors association ANEC now is calling the release strategy “a very serious violation.”

While the standard window between theatrical and homevid release in Italy is eight months, Fox reportedly re-quested permission to move up the release by two months to March 27. Authorization was granted to bump the date to April 27, but Fox has gone ahead with today’s release, stressing that the pic’s theatrical life was over.

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