Disney is veering towards the Dark Side with the new rules they have laid out for cinemas that wish to screen Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Disney Studios has revealed the stringent rules that cinemas wishing to screen their upcoming blockbuster, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, have to follow which have bamboozled certain chains and especially independent cinemas. The profit that cinemas see out of ticket sales nowadays is actually quite low, especially when it comes to big blockbuster releases. The studios, on average, tend to take around 50% but that number is on the rise. Cinema chains make the majority of their money out of selling us overpriced sweets, beverages and popcorn, lots of popcorn. However, thanks to Disney’s recent demands (and it really does feel like a hostage situation), cinemas are going to get even less money from the movies they show.
According to The Wall Street Journal, cinemas that wish to screen Star Wars: The Last Jedi have to agree to Disney’s new terms which seem rather excessive. If they don’t comply then they won’t be able to show the movie which is guaranteed to bring in huge crowds this December. So, what are these terms I hear you ask? Cinemas screening The Last Jedi have to pay Disney 65% of the film’s ticket sales revenue. Yet, that’s not all. They also have to show the film on their biggest screens for a minimum of 4 weeks!
Disney actions bring to mind a line from a certain Darth Vader. “I am altering the deal. Pray, I don’t alter it any further.” It’s a really difficult situation for the movie theatres because they will not want to run the risk of boycotting the movie because people are desperate to see it in the cinema and on the biggest screen possible, and turning away these crowds will not only be bad for business but also bad for their public image. Image if Vue, Odeon or Cineworld refused to screen The Last Jedi because of Disney’s demands. People would lose it and in turn boycott the cinema chain in favour for one that did decide to show the movie.
So basically, movie theatres have no choice but to pay Disney the 65% of income from ticket sales. What’s more, if they fail to meet Disney’s demands, then they’ll add an extra 5% to that total, making it 70%. Disney has shown its incredible might and one film buyer told the WSJ: “They’re in the most powerful position any studio has ever been in, maybe since MGM in the 1990s.” I honestly think they’re even more powerful that MGM was. With Star Wars, Marvel and Pixar under its belt, Disney is an unstoppable beast and their power is only growing.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is coming to cinemas (hopefully) on December 14th. What do you think of Disney’s new demands? Let us know in the comments below.