Window pains clarified

Fithian condemns Iger's comments or compressing dates

Remember the Great Windows War?

Well, it didn’t last long.

The conflict, which pitted studios and theaters against each other over the question of how long studios should wait after theatrical release to roll out a DVD, started way back on Aug. 18.

That’s when National Assn. of Theater Owners prexy John Fithian issued a press release condemning Walt Disney topper Bob Iger‘s comments to Wall Street analysts about the “need to compress” the theatrical window.

Fithian lectured Iger that he should “know better than to tell consumers … they can have it all, everywhere, at the same time.”

But just last week, while Fithian attended the French Exhibitors Congress, he seemed to sound the notes of truce, telling Gallic exhibs, “Having talking extensively with Disney executives in recent weeks, we don’t think they will try to change their model anytime soon.”

Along with the olive branch came a reiteration of his position that quicker DVD releases are “a death threat” to exhibs.

Iger stood by his original comments, which went largely unnoted until NATO pounced on them, but industry observers had doubted if the exec had originally intended them as a strategic pronouncement for the Mouse House.

Fithian could not be reached for comment, and Disney reps declined comment on Fithian’s latest statements.

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