Lord of the Rings Won’t Play in Nation's Largest Theater Chain - New Line move to "firm terms" irks exhibitors such as Regal Cinemas

The Hollywood Reporter reports that theater owners a protesting a move by New Line Cinema to join other distributors who seek to negotiate "firm terms" on film rentals before a movie is released.

Here is an excerpt:

Several leading exhibition chains are protesting a move by New Line Cinema to join the growing list of distributors who seek to negotiate "firm terms" on film rentals before a movie is released. The strongest opposition is coming from the nation's largest circuit, Regal Cinemas, which will refuse to screen New Line's upcoming releases Rush Hour 2 and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, according to sources outside the company. New Line began contacting exhibitors this week, informing them that it will move to fixed rental terms on all of its releases, beginning with Rush Hour 2, which opens Aug. 3. The AOL Time Warner-owned mini-major's corporate stablemate Warner Bros. made the switch to the firm-term model with the release of Angel Eyes last month. That move meant that a majority of major Hollywood studios -- Warner, Fox, DreamWorks, Universal and Sony -- now seek to negotiate film rental terms ahead of movie release. Other studios, including Paramount, Disney and MGM, continue to negotiate rental conditions as films come out of theaters -- a model most exhibitors prefer but studios increasingly portray as cumbersome and inefficient.


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