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Reporting on movies, film festivals, film production, premieres, movie events, industry trends and plays from around the world
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The Global Film Village: Odeon Lets Disney Out of Rabbit Hole

(c) 2010 The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved.

by Marc Halperin

After late night wrangling a settlement was reached between the Walt Disney Company and the UK's  largest exhibition chain  which is also the largest in Europe and largest in the world outside of North America to allow screening of Tim Burton's Alice. The Odeon boycott had also included its theatres in Ireland and Italy. The Boycott had grown to include several other theatre chains in Holland.

The resolution of this situation comes just in the nick of time as Alice in Wonderland has its gala Royal premiere tonight at the Odeon Leicester Square in London.

Odeon released this short statement on their website:

The ODEON & UCI Cinema group is pleased to announce that following detailed negotiations with the Walt Disney Company Ltd an enduring agreement has been reached encompassing all the different aspects of both companies' commercial relationship.

ODEON is pleased to announce that it will now be showing "Alice in Wonderland" beginning March 5th in its cinemas in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Austria.

As a result of this agreement, ODEON is pleased to confirm that it will be able to continue with its plans for significant investment in new cinemas, in digital technology in 3D capability and the other exciting developments designed for the increased enjoyment of all its customers.

What started as a simple movement of the video release window to avoid conflict with World Cup Soccer finals and summer vacations in the U.S. had mushroomed into a fight over reducing the time between when a film opens theatrically and it is released to video world-wide. This is certainly not the end of this discussion but compromises have been made off camera that has diffused the situation for now. Disney and the other studios need to walk a delicate line because they need the cinema owners to continue to fund the conversion of existing cinemas to digital and 3D projection. The current home video window doesn't yet take advantage of 3D technology  that is now playable in only an infitessimally small number of homes. Sacrificing one window for another makes little sense when the world is still dealing with a global recession and it is unlikely that consumers will adopt new 3D television sets in large enough numbers to support a rollout of this technology at this time..

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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.

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