Tiny iPic Theater Wins Injunction Against Giant Rival Over Claims of Anticompetitive Conduct

TINY IPIC THEATER WINS INJUNCTION AGAINST GIANT RIVAL OVER CLAIMS OF ANTICOMPETITIVE CONDUCT iPic Theater, 4444 Westheimer Rd., River Oaks District, Houston, 77027 Florida-based iPic Theaters, reports Olivia Pulsinelli, has won a temporary injunction against Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment in a Harris County court last week. The boutique theater chain, whose first Houston location opened at 4444 Westheimer Rd. in the River Oaks District shopping center last November, filed a suit late last year alleging that Regal and fellow competitor AMC were muscling the new theater out of the market through ‘anticompetitive and unlawful conduct’, including demanding exclusive rights to show certain films or refusing to screen films also offered to iPic; Regal opted not to screen several major releases (including the latest Hunger Games installation and December’s Star Wars episode) at many of its Houston locations.  iPic’s 12 theaters nationwide generally screen fewer films than its larger competitors while offering pricier amenities, such as dine-in service,  pillows, and semipartitioned 2-recliner “pods”. A trial date for the lawsuit is set for October 3rd. [HBJ, Houston Press] Photo: Liz J. via Yelp

5 Comment

  • I like how when the Spanish Language theater opened in PlazAmericas, and had the same complaints against Regal and AMC, everyone scoffed at them; they ultimately had to shut down. Now that it’s a high end theater in River Oaks with those complaints, they’re getting somewhere.
    If I was the PlazAmericas theater people, I’d be trying to get in on this lawsuit. Help pay for the lawyers or something and in return hopefully get an injunction that benefits me, too.

  • I was wondering why the Edwards Greenway wasn’t playing The Force Awakens. But I guess I don’t understand Regal’s thinking: since TFA wasn’t playing at Greenway, I simply went somewhere else (not iPic, sorry guys!) to see it.

    It’s not as if I was going to miss the movie simply because it wasn’t playing at one of my favorite theaters.

  • AMC Theaters in other cities are are being renovated with assigned and electric reclining seating. Its been a while since I have gone to AMC but they are run down and overrun by loud teens who text throughout the movie. Regal is not far behind in being ripe for a renovation. I have no problem paying extra for assigned seating and for staff who I know will act when some fuckwit decides to start viewing their phone and texting interrupting my movie experience. Although iPIC is pricier than Sundance or Studio Movie Grill it is an awesome experience and treat.

  • I think the entire movie theater business is on it’s way out, just look at the lack of any maintenance on the theaters. I believe it’s because on demand movies are now available for $6 bucks in HD and even 4K only a couple of months after it hits theaters. Why go to a place with sticky floors and musty smelling seats, pay $80 for popcorn and deal with pre-teens playing on snapchat the whole time.

  • I agree with HouCynic and commonsense’s comment: namely, why pay huge amounts of money to see a movie with total strangers while being annoyed by all of them?
    Even with the pods and dinner service at iPic, it is all overpriced for a forgettable movie. Put a jar at home, put your wad of $20 bills into it as admission, grab a blanket, sit on the couch, and help yourself to the “all you can eat” buffet in your own kitchen – and call up an on-demand movie for $8 or whatever it costs.
    If you want to fool with your phone during the movie, go ahead. If you want to talk during the movie, chat it up. After it is all said and done, take the admission money and put it back in your own pocket. Repeat as needed.