film distributor accuses Finnkino of extortion, withdraws new film | New

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A new national film distributed by Nordisk Film will not be shown in any cinema operated by Finnkino, Finland’s largest cinema chain. The distributor claims that the new box office share demands of the movie theater are akin to extortion.

Still image from the film Yösyöttö, which will probably never be shown in Finnkino cinemas. Image: Marek Sabogal / Solar films

Film distributor Nordisk Film has withdrawn its new comedy feature _Yösyöttö _ (“Night Feeding”) from all Finnkino theaters following a box office dispute with the cinema chain.

The film’s producer, Markus Selin, is appalled by Finnkino’s demands for the lion’s share of ticket sales, calling the demand “extortion”.

“They said on Monday that they wanted a much bigger share of the box office than before. It’s an impossible scenario for us,” Selin said.

The withdrawal of the film is a major setback for the production, which will be released on Friday and had been selected as Finnkino’s film of the month.

“They probably assumed that we would be desperate enough to agree to anything. I will not bow to blackmail. This is outrageous exploitation of a monopoly,” Selin said.

The abandonment of the film from Finnkino screens means a dire financial situation for the producers of_Yösyöttö _ which, according to an IMDB estimate, had a budget of 800,000 euros.

Yosyöttö is a comedy based on a novel by author Eve Hietamies and addresses themes of family, adulthood and parenthood. The film is written by Marko Leino (by Sofi Oksanen Purge adaptation fame), directed by Marja Leino and starring Petteri Summanen as an unhappy new father.

Based in Denmark, Nordisk Film claims the status of one of the oldest film studios in the world and distributes films, TV series and video games in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Its subsidiary Nordisk Film Cinemas is the leading cinema chain in Denmark and Norway, according to the company’s website.

Finnkino is Finland’s largest cinema chain with 14 cinemas in 11 cities in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

Earlier this year, as part of a larger takeover of Nordic Cinema Group, Finnkino was acquired by US cinema giant AMC Theaters. Finnkino announced that the acquisition had been approved by EU regulators in a Press release (siirryt toiseen palveluun) he published in March.

Finnkino: “The changing industry, necessary changes”

Finnkino’s sales manager Kalle Peltola said negotiations have been underway with Nordisk Film since March.

“The last time the terms of the deal were discussed was in 2012,” Peltola explains. “The world and the film industry have changed in five years, enough to warrant further discussion.”

The distributor banned the use of its film in Finnkino cinemas by denying the conglomerate the rights to market the feature film.

Peltola says he still believes some sort of deal can be made.

“Nordisk Film is an important partner for us. We hope to get to the negotiating table before long, but we can’t promise anything, ”he said.

Finnkino announced that he had already proposed potential solutions to the deadlock. Nordisk Film’s Katarina Nyman disagrees.

“I spoke to them last time this morning, and Finnkino had no concrete suggestions for us,” said the head of distribution.

Nyman cites Finnkino’s inflexibility as the main reason for the freezing cold.

Alternative channels considered

_Yösyöttö’_ producer Selin says removing the film probably wouldn’t help the film be seen by viewers.

“Our decision is financially destructive, because Finnkino has a 70% market share. All domestic films could find themselves in the same situation before long. I hope this action will shake the monopoly,” said Selin.

With the closure of their main distribution channel, the producers plan to release their new film in alternative venues such as conference venues and restaurants.

“Maybe this will lead to new ways of distributing the films, if Finnkino keeps the pressure on,” Selin said.


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