In what is clearly the worst thing a group of Germans has ever done, Variety reports that independent theater owners in the European state are boycotting Avengers: Age Of Ultron, a boycott that may soon extend to all Disney-distributed titles. (Yes, even The Force Awakens.)
They are doing so not because they hate making money, or because, as Germans, they feel that two hours and 22 minutes is much too long of a break from work. No, they’re boycotting what they call Disney’s increasingly extortionate approach to rental fees. According to theater owners, Disney has raised its rental fee from 47 percent of ticket sales to 53 percent, a cost that, combined with other moves on Disney’s part, like cutting its contribution towards advertising costs and no longer offering advances on 3-D glasses, is enough to drive them out of business.
About 700 movie screens, a mere drop in the ocean of Disney’s international theater presence, will be affected by the boycott. It certainly doesn’t seem to be affecting Age Of Ultron’s box office so far: It made a ridiculous $200 million in the 44 international markets where the film opened this weekend, including Germany, where it made $9.3 million. That’s before Age Of Ultron opens in the U.S. or—perhaps more significantly in today’s international movie marketplace—China, where it doesn’t open until May 12.