Disney Reportedly Bans Cinema Employees For Weeks Of Free Movies

As Marvel Cinematic Universe fans rush to theaters for the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) current and former moviegoers are speaking out against Disney’s strict policies around their movie releases.

Related: Marvel Fans Furious Over ‘Doctor Strange 2’ Leaks, ‘Don’t Watch Again’ Movie

Image Copyright Marvel / Disney

According to multiple Twitter users, Disney would insist that movie theaters don’t allow their employees to watch new movies for free for the first few weeks after a project’s release.

Twitter user Margaret “Molly” Rasberry (@RasberryRazz) started this conversation, writing that one of their favorite benefits 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 earlier. They tweeted:

One of the perks of working in the cinema is free movies, except Disney, which threatens to remove its movies from the cinema if an employee sees one of their movies for free during its opening month. We had to wait a month or buy a ticket to see a Disney movie. Pure greed.

Disney 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:

And the reasoning was spoilers. Yes, including their Disney remakes.

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

It’s worth noting, though, that live-action performances – including aladdin (2019) and Beauty and the Beast (2017) – often contain new sequences and songs that were not included in the original animated versions.

Frank Oz as Yoda
Credit: Lucasfilm

Reportedly, the ban on watching movies early for free includes both Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm propertiesTwitter user Jeannie Stewart (@vamputee) claims Disney made movie workers wait a month Star Wars movies, presumably when the sequel trilogy came out:

Yes and no. Cast passes generally have a limitation. Usually two weeks, but Disney has been known to go for a month. (Star Wars mostly)

However, this user claims that, in general, cinema employees don’t have to wait a full month to see movies.

@RasberryRazz reported their theater nearly got into trouble after an usher got a free ticket to Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, not realizing that the ban on free access to Disney movies was for that movie. They tweeted:

And we almost got into big trouble when one of the ushers got a free ticket to Civil War because we didn’t know at first that it wasn’t free tickets to a Disney movie for a month at first. Disney apparently sent us a warning. They are petty…

However, it is important to remember that Disney has not confirmed the existence of this policy and the alleged warning has not been shared publicly online.

According to the Twitter users who discussed the situation, the “ban” mainly applies to larger chain theaters. @RasberryRazz reported that they had no issues with Disney until their independent theater was bought by the chain, Cinemark

Pretty recently anyway. When the theater was independent it wasn’t a problem but the owners sold it to Cinemark and that changed everything for the worst.

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

When I worked in a theater we had out-of-hours employee screenings, but we could never do Disney — because God forbid 50 underpaid students 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 got angry when they heard that staff were getting free access to their movies early on

Some users questioned how Disney could control who got to see their movies for free and whether it was logistically possible for them to fix any theater that offered its employees free tickets to Disney movies. @RasberryRazz explained it’s easy to check through digital ticketing and assigned seats and ushers confirming that no one sneaked into the movies. Their tweet:

Assigned seats and ushers to make sure employees don’t sneak in

Related: Sam Raimi Reveals He Left Out A LOT From ‘Doctor Strange 2’

Managers also reportedly keep an eye on ushers and make sure they don’t let any of their colleagues watch Disney movies for free. Twitter user Erin (@whiiteness) wrote:

It’s not the colleagues, it’s the managers who stand around looking at us like prey

Again, please note that Disney has not commented on these allegations and is not providing any public information about banning movie theater staff from watching their new releases early. Inside the Magic will keep you updated if Disney has any comments.

Do you think cinema workers should be able to see new releases from the Walt Disney Company for free? Let us know in the comments.

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