AMC Theater seating

Disney is said to be banning movie theater workers from watching movies for free for weeks

As Marvel Cinematic Universe fans flock to cinemas for the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022), Current and former employees of movie theaters are speaking out against Disney’s strict policies regarding their movie releases.

RELATED: Marvel Fans Furious Over ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Leaks, ‘Don’t Watch’ Anymore

Image copyright Marvel/Disney

According to several Twitter users, Disney allegedly insists that movie theaters do not allow their employees to watch new movies for free in the first few weeks after the project’s launch.

Twitter user Margaret “Molly” Rasberry (RasberryRazz) started this conversation, writing that one of their favorite perks of working in a movie theater was the free tickets, but they had to wait a month to see new Disney movies unless they wanted to buy a full-price ticket sooner. They tweeted:

An advantage of working in the cinema is free movies, except for Disney movies that threaten to remove their movies from the theater if the employee watches one of their movies during the opening month for free. We had to wait a month or buy a ticket to see a Disney movie. Pure greed.

Disney allegedly claims this is to avoid spoilers for their movies, but the rule also applies to live-action remakes of classic Walt Disney Animation Studios movies. From @RasberryRazz:

The reasoning was spoilers. Yes, including the new Disney movies.

RELATED: Kevin Feige Admits Marvel Spoiled ‘Too Much’ From ‘Doctor Strange 2’

It is noteworthy, however, that live renditions – including Aladdin (2019) and Beauty and the beast (2017) – often features new sequences and songs that were not included in the original anime releases.

Frank Oz as Yoda
credit: Lucasfilm

The ban on watching movies early for free reportedly includes Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm properties. Twitter user Jenny Stewart (@vamputee) claims Disney made movie theater employees wait a month to see star Wars The films, most likely when the sequel trilogy released:

Yes and no. Cast passes generally have limitations on them. Usually two weeks but Disney has been known to go for a month. (usually Star Wars)

However, this user claims that movie theater workers generally don’t have to wait an entire month to watch movies.

RasberryRazz reported that their theater nearly ran into trouble after a user got a free ticket to Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, not being aware of the prohibition on free access to Disney films applicable to this film. They tweeted:

And we almost got into a big problem when a guide got a free Civil War ticket because we didn’t realize that wasn’t free Disney movie tickets for a month at first. Looks like Disney sent us a warning. They are silly…

However, it is important to remember that Disney has not confirmed the existence of this policy and the purported warning has not been made public online.

According to Twitter users who have been discussing the situation, the “ban” mainly applies to big-chain theaters. RasberryRazz reported no issues with Disney until the independently owned theater was purchased by Cinemark Chain:

Very modern at least. When the theater was independent, there was no problem but the owners sold it to the cinema and changed everything for the worse.

Another user, Rage (Addilemonade), reported a similar experience with Disney movies:

We used to do staff checks after hours when I was working in a theater, but we’ve never been able to do a Disney movie – because God doesn’t allow 50 low-paid college kids to see The Lion King for free.

Twitter user Lego Stobie Wars (Stobuscus) was just one of many others who agreed. They wrote:

I don’t know what I’m legally allowed to say, but Disney was one of the companies that gets pissed off if I hear about employees getting free access to their movies early on.

Some users have wondered how Disney can monitor who gets to watch their movies for free and whether it’s logistically possible for them to crack down on any theater that offers its employees free Disney movie tickets. RasberryRazz explained that it can be easily monitored with digital tickets, seat assignments and guides who ensure that no one sneaks into the movies. Tweet them:

Allocated seats and guides should check to ensure that employees do not intrude

RELATED: Sam Raimi reveals he cut a lot from ‘Doctor Strange 2’

Managers are also reportedly monitoring users, ensuring that none of their fellow employees are allowed to watch Disney movies for free. Twitter user Erin (@whiiteness) wrote:

They’re not co-workers, they’re the managers standing around watching us like prey

Again, please note that Disney has not commented on these allegations nor does it provide any public information about preventing movie theater employees from seeing their new releases ahead of time. Inside the Magic will keep you posted if Disney provides any feedback.

Do you think movie theater employees should be able to watch new releases of Walt Disney Pictures for free? Let us know in the comments.

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