German theater owners boycott ‘The Avengers’

April 28 2015 9:54 PM

Are superheroes bad for business?

Yes, if you ask theater owners in Germany who are boycotting Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

According to German publication Deutsche Welle, 193 independent small town theater operators have refused to screen the blockbuster after Disney raised rental fees, reported on April 27 (Tuesday, Manila).

Cinema owners were stunned after Disney raised the fee to 53 percent from 47.7 percent the report added. Disney has also announced that they are cutting on advertising spend.

“Approaching the industry with these conditions is completely unusual and, for me, scandal,” said Andreas Kramer from Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater, a lobby group, the report added.

The indie exhibitors warn that if conditions prevail they would have a serious problem, according to the report. “That could force movie theaters to close,” said Karl-Heinz Meir of I.G. Nord, who represents theater owners.

The boycott would mean the new Avengers film will be missing 700 screen times.

The same group of theater owners threatened to extend the boycott to Disney’s latest Star Wars franchise “The Force Awakens” set for release before the end of the year.

“Avengers: The Age of Ultron” is a follow up to the box office hit “Avengers”. The movie has earned US$201.2 million in ticket sales during its weekend debut in 44 international territories last wee, according to Variety.

It is set for release on May 1 in US theaters.