In an echo of what happened with A Star Is Born, Vue has pulled all screenings of Mary Queen Of Scots in the UK.
Cast your mind back to last autumn, and you may recall the Vue Cinema chain wasn’t showing the huge box office hit A Star Is Born on its opening week in the UK. The chain has around 100 sites across Britain, amounting to around 1000 screens, and the absence of A Star Is Born that first week was said to be the reason the movie didn’t top the UK box office charts.
The reason behind the decision was a disagreement between the company and Warner Bros over booking terms and, ultimately, cash. That the unsaid was that Warner Bros wanted more of a share than Vue was willing to hand over. Both sides dug in, and it took a week or so for the matter to be resolved. Eventually, Vue programmed the movie, but not until a week or two after release.
Now, though, it looks like a similar situation has bubbled up.
Mary Queen Of Scots opened in the UK on January 18th, with Universal its distributor. The film snared £2m on its opening weekend in Britain, but not a bean of that is now coming from Vue.
For whilst Vue advertises the film on its website, not a single one of its sites is showing the film, anywhere in the country.
To answer the specific question in the headline: the ‘why’ it’s happened is almost certainly a disagreement about terms. Vue has earned welcome praise for driving down prices of tickets at many of its sites, and that jars with studios who are looking to recoup as good a slice of the box office as they can. Vue has proven before that it’ll dig in, and until matters are resolved, then Mary Queen Of Scots won’t be playing at Vue. The second biggest film of its week of release will not be playing in one of the country’s leading chains.
Neither side have commented on the situation. We’ll keep you posted as we hear more.
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