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Mar 16, 2010 12:34 PM by Associated Press

Studios, theaters debate DVD release dates

Hollywood studios and movie theaters are trying to come to terms in a debate over how quickly films move from the big screen to DVD. The time between theatrical and home video releases gradually shrank as studios cashed in on booming DVD sales starting in the late 1990s.

The average gap between big-screen and DVD releases has held steady at about four months in recent years, but Disney upset theater owners with a plan to narrow the window to about three months for its blockbuster "Alice in Wonderland."

Theaters worry a shorter gap undermines ticket sales.

The issue is a key topic this week at ShoWest, an annual convention for theater owners, where studios trot out stars, films and footage to promote upcoming releases.

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