Sony's decision to release CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS in digital form on Dec. 8 has irked theater owners, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER .
The battle could culminate with at least four major theater chains - Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark and Marcus Theatres - pulling the film from theaters in retaliation, according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.
With the studio releasing digital versions of the animated feature less than three months after it hit theaters, exhibitors argue they're being undercut on the the film's potential long-tail value on the big screen. The film's grossed $121 million in domestic theaters thus far.
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER marks this as only the "second time Sony has tried to exploit inter-divisional synergies between Sony Pictures and Sony Electronics on a home-entertainment release."
The film is currently playing in 1,126 but as a result of the exhibitors protest, it could be shed down to as few as 300 theaters by this weekend.