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German theater owners boycotting 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

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While Avengers: Age of Ultron already had a big weekend at the box office overseas, it was not shown in some local theaters in Germany. It’s not that the owners are trying to be hip by shunning a big Hollywood blockbuster. Instead, they claim that Disney wants a bigger cut of ticket sales. Most of the theaters that are protesting are in northern Germany. According to Deutsche Welle, the owners claim that Disney is raising the rental fee to 53 percent of ticket sales from 47.7 percent. They also say that Disney has cut its advertising contribution, which means that advances for 3D glasses were dropped. “We are worried - particularly about eastern Germany,” Karl-Heinz Meier, a spokesman for the industry trade group I.G. Nord told DW. “When prices go up, then we have a serious problem that could force movie theaters to close.” The boycott means the film won’t be shown on 686 screens in 193 small towns. Meier said that the chains could be forced to do the same when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens later in the year. “Disney manages distribution - things could get interesting,” he said. Ultron ended up opening with $201 million worldwide over the weekend. EW notes that it still made $9.3 million in Germany. The new film hits theaters in the U.S. on Friday. image of Scarlett Johansson courtesy of Famous/ACE/INFphoto.com