The fight between the nation's largest theater chains and Walt Disney Studios over the upcoming release of "Iron Man 3" escalated on Thursday, when AMC Chief Executive Gerry Lopez took the studio to task for taking what he described as an unusually hard line in negotiations.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Lopez declined to discuss the specific points of disagreement but said he could not accept Disney's demand for how much revenue it would collect from the film.
The dispute prompted AMC, the nation's second-largest theater chain, to announce Wednesday that it would stop selling advance tickets for the film. In another development, Regal, the nation's largest theater chain, also on Wednesday night decided to stop selling tickets for "Iron Man 3" because of objections over Disney's terms, a source close to the circuit said.
"We've been surprised at the ask," Lopez told The Times, referring to Disney's revenue demands. "The depth and the breadth of the ask puts us in a very, very uncomfortable situation ... clearly they are under some kind of financial pressure."
Lopez, speaking in a conference room at the Caesars Palace hotel on the third day of the CinemaCon convention, added that he had been in negotiations with Disney executives to resolve the dispute during the convention and was hopeful it would be resolved.