Odeon backs down over Alice boycott
Friday 26 February 2010
Odeon, Britain's biggest cinema chain, has performed a last-minute U-turn on its decision to boycott the lavish new 3D version of Alice in Wonderland by announcing it will screen the film nationwide after all.
The cinema operator had clashed with Disney after the studio announced it wanted to issue a DVD version of the film, directed by Tim Burton, just three months after its release on the big screen, rather than waiting 17 weeks.
Odeon condemned the move, saying cinema-goers would stay at home and await the release of the DVD rather than attend their local screen.
The chain, which vowed it would not show the blockbuster at any of its 834 screens beyond last night's premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square, warned that a 12-week "window" could lead to the closure of many small and medium-sized cinemas.
But after late-night talks on Wednesday, Odeon announced it had reached an "enduring agreement" with Disney, allowing it to show the film nationwide from 5 March. It will also be shown at Odeon's screens in Ireland and Italy. Both companies refused to discuss the details of the deal, but The Independent understands Odeon has agreed to a 13-week release – a month less than it had originally sought.
In a statement, Odeon said: "Following detailed negotiations with the Walt Disney Company, an enduring agreement has been reached encompassing all the different aspects of both companies' commercial relationship."
The decision by Odeon was greeted with relief by Alice in Wonderland's performers. Michael Sheen, who plays the White Rabbit, said the row had been a "storm in a mad hatter's tea cup".
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally screened after weeks of controversy – but reviews are mixed
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food