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Studios forced to delay Mexico movie openings

April 30, 2009 | 10:05 am

Claudia Eller and Reed Johnson report how Hollywood movie studios, about to enter the most crucial time of the year for ticket sales, are being forced to delay the Mexico releases of their big early-summer movies, including "Star Trek," "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "Angels & Demons," as theaters here close because of the swine flu epidemic sweeping the country. 

"Such a delay could cost the studios tens of millions in revenue at a time when they are increasingly relying on international box office to offset production and marketing expenses. Mexico ranks in the top 10 movie markets, accounting for about 6% of foreign ticket sales. It could also undercut the performance of movies when they eventually open in theaters by giving pirated DVD copies a chance to flood the market."

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City