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.
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."