There are plenty of ways that filmmakers and studios curb the content of their work to appeal to as large an audience as possible. Regardless, there are still some theaters that choose not to show certain films for a variety of reasons, whether they be moral, fiscal, or logistical. Here are a just a few examples of times theaters backed out from showing a film.
Perhaps the most popular of the recent films to be refused by a movie theater is 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A small theater in Iowa decided not to screen this entry in the Star Wars franchise, but not because its owners objected to the content of the film. Instead, it was because of an issue with Disney's terms. As part of their distribution deal, Disney required theaters to screen The Last Jedi in their largest auditoriums for a minimum of four weeks, and took a cut of 65% of ticket revenue from those screenings.
That's a high price to pay for any small-town movie theater, especially in recent years, when plenty of potential audience members have ditched the big screen for lots of smaller screens that stream entertainment at home. Of course, The Last Jedi still went on to grab an international box office total of more than $1 billion, even without being shown in the Keystone of Northeast Iowa.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi | 0:19
The Interview | 1:08
Slender Man | 2:09
Beauty and the Beast | 2:53
Monty Python's Life of Brian | 4:00
The Last Temptation of Christ | 5:04