Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron opened across Europe over the weekend, a week before the US release, and to no surprise the movie broke box office records across the continent. It was no doubt a good weekend for Disney and all but the 686 screens in Germany that decided to boycott the release of the movie.
Less than two weeks before the big opening, Disney decided to raise the rental fees for theaters in Germany from 47.7 to 53 percent of ticket sales and made cut backs on the amount being contributed for advertising. Small theaters were caught off guard by the sudden price hike and feared that the new fees would lead to them going out of business.
Small theaters across 193 smaller German towns joined together to protest Disney’s decision by not showing Avengers on 686 screens across the country. Several larger theaters also threw in their support, but due to contractual obligations, they had to show the movie on their screens.
The Avengers sequel still saw a massive opening weekend in the Germany, bringing in $9.35 million in revenue across the 840 screens that still showed the film, making it the largest opening weekend for any Marvel film in the country.