Brits yank ‘Night at the Museum’

Stephen Beard Feb 2, 2007


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The Ben Stiller film “Night at the Museum” has been thrown out of movie theaters in Britain. Some U.K. theater operators stopped showing the film after a decision to release it early on DVD. From London, Stephen Beard reports.

STEPHEN BEARD: Fox, which made Night at the Museum, is being punished for breaking a window. To be precise, breaking the widely accepted window of four months between the time a movie is released in the cinemas and when it appears on DVD.

Night at the Museum is scheduled for DVD release here only three months after its premiere.

The cinema chains are furious, says Archie Thomas of Variety Magazine, who broke the story.

ARCHIE THOMAS: Well I think the big chains are concerned that if audiences start feeling that if audiences feel the big movies, the big Hollywood Blockbusters are going to be available on DVD sooner, then audiences are going to stop going to the cinema.

In a similar dispute, German cinema chains pulled their Fox movies last weekend after the company announced another earlier-than-expected DVD release date.

Fox says the whole thing is a storm in a teapot and claims that it usually allows a window of five months — more than the industry average.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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