AMC theaters finally agree to book ‘Alice in Wonderland’

The theater chain AMC, the second largest in the country, had delayed booking Tim Burton and Disney’s new movie “Alice in Wonderland“, starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, because of Disney’s decision to compress the window between the movie’s theatrical opening and its subsequent DVD release to just 12 weeks. (Read that as Disney being greedy)

But, after what was viewed as a standoff by the industry, the Kansas City-based exhibitor began offering advance sales of tickets to “Alice” on Friday. So now AMC Entertainment’s theaters will follow Alice down the rabbit hole when Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” opens on March 5.

AMC CEO and president Gerry Lopez did not directly address the conflict, saying:

Alice’ looks terrific, and it promises to be the next 3D blockbuster. It is sure to please our guests — many of whom have called and emailed — and help us maintain box office momentum in 2010. As business models evolve for exhibitors as well as distributors such as Disney, it makes sense to focus on the many opportunities we have to improve our economics, so we can continue to invest in technology our guests want and ultimately, the guest experience in our theaters.

Separately, Disney has also made peace with Odeon and Vue Entertainment, two U.K.-based theater chains that had also threatened to boycott the movie.

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