Following the example set last week by Cinemark, a number of independent theater chains and movie theaters have pledged not to screen Universal's Tower Heist in protest over the studio's plans to drastically shorten the release window. Lyndon Golin, chief executive of Regency Theaters (which is joined by the Emagine and Galaxy chains) explained: "We certainly support Cinemark... If their position is they won't run it, then we won't run it either. Movies shown in the home on such a short window is a dagger to our business." [LA Times]
The latest in what's sure to be an ongoing and convoluted affair: national theater chain Cinemark has lobbed the first return volley in the face of Universal's Tower Heist VOD experiment, refusing to play the Brett Ratner-directed Eddie Murphy-Ben Stiller comedy in any of its 300 locations and 3,800 screens come November 4. The question is: Will Universal back down from its $59.99 video-on-demand market test -- or will other exhibitors join Cinemark to boycott the move?