chapter  8
Living-room wars
Pages 14

In February 1990, Walt Disney Studios decided to prohibit cinema theatres in the United States from airing commercials before screening Disney-produced movies. The decision was made because the company had received a great number of complaints from spectators who did not want to be bothered by advertising after having paid $7.50 for seeing a film, leading the company to conclude that commercials ‘are an unwelcome intrusion’ to the filmgoing experience (Hammer 1990:38). Of course, Disney’s decision was informed by economic motives: it feared that commercials before films would have a negative effect on the number of people willing to go to the movies, and thus on its boxoffice revenues. As a result, the issue of in-theatre advertising is now a controversial one in Hollywood.