Wonder deal to ensure Alice lands in Irish cinemas

A LAST-minute deal finalised on the day of its British premiere ensures that Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland will make it to all Irish cinemas.

Cinema chain, Odeon, announced earlier this week that the blockbuster movie would not be screened in Odeon cinemas in Britain and Ireland with other films taking priority.

That meant that Ireland’s largest cinema chain, UCI, which has about two million customers a year, would not be screening the film.

Both Odeon Cinemas and UCI Cinemas were acquired by Terra Firma in September 2004.

Odeon’s stance not to screen the movie, other than tonight’s premiere in London, was in response to Disney’s plan to reduce the gap between the film’s cinema debut and DVD release to about 12 weeks rather than the usual time of 17 weeks. The Disney move is understood to have been an effort to bolster dwindling DVD sales worldwide.

However, Irish cinema lovers can rest easy as the row has finally been settled.

Odeon announced in a statement yesterday it had agreed a deal with Disney to screen the film in its cinemas, including those in Ireland,

“Following detailed negotiations with the Walt Disney Company Ltd, an enduring agreement has been reached encompassing all the different aspects of both companies’ commercial relationship.

“Odeon is pleased to announce that it will now be showing Alice In Wonderland beginning March 5 in its cinemas in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Austria,” the statement read.

The Disney movie is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic tales about Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.

Directed by Tim Burton, this latest installment features Alice in a new adventure as she returns to Wonderland for the first time since she was a child and with no memory of her previous time there.

The blockbuster features Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Burton’s wife, Helena Bonham Carter, as the Red Queen and Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska as Alice.

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