‘Iron Man 3′: Disney Strikes This Deal with Regal

Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE:RGC) and AMC Holdings, the two largest cinema chains, have reached deals with Disney (NYSE:DIS) for the rights to show Iron Man 3, reports Bloomberg.

“We thank our partners at Disney for working with us to achieve economical terms so we can present our guests with one of the biggest blockbusters of 2013 and solidly kick off the summer movie season,” AMC said in a statement.

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Disney had struggled securing deals with the three largest cinema chains in the country, including Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK), after demanding a higher percentage of ticket sales. Blockbusters such as Iron Man 3, Monsters University, and The Lone Ranger (all slated to come out this summer) are able to demand a higher percent of ticket sales than movies with less hype. On average studios can usually expect 52 percent of ticket revenue, according to Eric World, an analyst at B. Riley & Co. in San Francisco. Disney reportedly demanded as much as 65 percent of sales for Iron Man 3.

The Robert Downey, Jr. flick is estimated to gross $151 million domestically in its opening weekend, more than Iron Man 2 but well below last year’s top-grossing Marvel’s The Avengers

Disney has showed plenty of gumption since its release of John Carter in 2012, a flop directly associated with the resignation of its studio boss, Rich Ross. New boss Alan Horn has chosen to invest in genres and series that have a solid track record for attracting audiences. Earlier this year Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, and will entrust its summer slate to reliable draws such as Iron Man 3 and Monsters University (the much awaited prequel to Monsters Inc., released in 2001). Even The Lone Ranger, a new take on the classic western, features an actor known for his ability to fill seats — Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean).

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Disney looks primed to not just avoid colossal failures such as John Carter, but to bolster its status as the top movie-maker in Hollywood.

Here’s how Disney, Regal and Cinemark finished trading on Friday:

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