Theater owners are already complaining about Disney's strict rules for exhibiting Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which comes out on Dec. 15, 2017. "Disney will receive about 65 percent of ticket-sales revenue from the film, a new benchmark for a Hollywood studio," The Wall Street Journal writes. "Disney is also requiring theaters to show the movie in their largest auditorium for at least four weeks."
Typically studios take about 55 percent of ticket-sales from movie theaters, although bigger blockbusters sometimes send back around 60 percent. Previous Star Wars films required theaters send back 64 percent of sales. Now if theaters violate Disney's conditions, they could get dinged with an additional 5 percent of ticket sales being returned, bringing the total up to 70 percent.
That presents a conundrum for small-market movie theaters. "There's a finite number of moviegoers in my market, and I can service all of them in a couple of weeks," explained the owner of a single-screen theater in Elkader, Iowa. In order to show The Last Jedi and avoid a fine, small-town theaters would need to keep the movie playing in near-empty theaters toward the end of its four-week run — while still giving Disney a steep cut of the sales. Read the full report at The Wall Street Journal.