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Territorial segmentation of commercial movies releases in the single market

Madalin Blidaru made this access to documents request to Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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From: Madalin Blidaru

Delivered

Dear Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,

Under the access to public information legislation, I am sending the following questions, based on the described case:

Warner Bros. Pictures is the film distributor outside Japan and China of the newly released movies Detective Pikachu. [1] Most of the global release dates are centered around 9th or 10th of May, with some exceptions.

In the EU single market, the release dates are the following:

8th of May - France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden;
9th of May - Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italia, Portugal, Slovakia;
10th of May - Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Lithuania;
31st of May - Poland;
7th of June - Romania;
13th of June - Greece.[2]

Overall, each Member State has a different release date, depending on the contractual arrangements for movie distribution. Moreover, for the same movie, in the same EU market, there are longer periods between release dates of more than a month. For example, a citizen from Greece or Romania willing to see the movie after the global release date, has the option of travelling to Bulgaria to enjoy the access to these entertainment services.

Therefore, the questions are:

1. In the EU single market, for the distribution of commercial movies, are the distributors allowed to set the release dates for their products (i.e. commercial movies) based on state territories?
2. Does the territorial segmentation of globally-released commercial movies’ releases within the European Union constitute a non-monetary barrier to the free movement of services or to cross-border access to services/offline audiovisual services?
3. Are there any European regulations related to the single market distribution of commercial movies, especially the non-territorial segmentation of the constumer access to the released content?

Yours sincerely,

Madalin Blidaru

[1] WarnerBros.com, https://www.warnerbros.com/movies/pokemo...
[2] DetectivePikachuMovie.com, https://www.detectivepikachumovie.com/re...

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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Dear Ms Blidaru,

Thank you for your request for information.
As we don't consider your request in the context of access to documents request under Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents, we suggest to contact GROW INFO COMMUNIC <[email address]> in order to get a reply to your questions.

Thank you for your understanding.

Kind regards,

DG GROW – Access to documents team
European Commission
Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG GROW/03 – Strategic Planning and Delivery Unit

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