Britain’s biggest cinema chains may choose not to show Disney’s latest animation Alice in Wonderland because the company are proposing to sell it on DVD just 13 weeks after it reaches the big screen.

The normal ‘release window‘ between cinema showings and the DVD launch is around 17 weeks, but this is simply an industry norm rather than down to regulation.

By shortening the window, a studio arguably reduces the length of time cinemas can profitably show the film.

A source close to Disney told Sky News Online that the firm was planning to shorten some release windows to boost business, but stressed each film would be considered individually, and in light of the market.

The Disney source added that it was up to cinemas to take the commercial decision over whether to show the film and said the company was open to dialogue over the issue.

Earlier, Bob Chapek, president of distribution for Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement that the company remained “committed to theatrical windows, with the need for exceptions to accommodate a shortened period on a case-by-case basis, such as with Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.”

“We feel that it’s important for us to maintain a healthy business on the exhibition side and a healthy business on the home video side.

“We think this is in the best interest of theater owners, because a healthy movie business is good for them and allows us to invest in high quality, innovative content.”

Neither Odeon or Vue is promoting Alice in Wonderland on their websites – although they were not available for comment over whether they still planned to show the film, which is due for release on March 5.

However, film industry insiders say that even if cinema chains decide to take action, it is unlikely to be enough to shake Disney, due to its solid box office results and eagerly-awaited Toy Story 3 film later this year.

“(Disney has) leverage, and there’s no reason why they should refuse to use it,” said analyst Hal Vogel of Vogel Capital Management.

“It’s inevitable anyhow…if they don’t do this, somebody else will.”

Source: Sky News