EXCLUSIVE: Cineworld “sincerely apologises for confusion” and will show LGBT thriller.

UK exhibitor Cineworld has reversed its decision to pull Cannes thriller Stranger By The Lake following social media outcry over the decision, which was prompted by a windowing dispute.

ScreenDaily understands that the chain is prepared to break its windowing rule in order to “honour its commitment” to its customers, some of whom had complained about the decision after buying tickets.

The chain will host one screening at six venues - Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Nottingham, Wandsworth, West India Quay - but at slightly revised times.

It is not immediately clear whether the film will receive the same number of showings as originally planned.

Cineworld issued the following statement to Screen: “Cineworld can confirm that it still intends to screen the film Stranger By The Lake.

“It was recently brought to our attention that by screening the film we might break our strict policy on film windows, which protects the cinemagoing experience for the long term.

“Customer service is our number one priority and we will therefore endeavour to honour our commitment to everyone who wants to see the film.

“We would like to sincerely apologise for any confusion caused and will update customers via the Cineworld website with slightly revised showtimes.”

Cineworld also tweeted the following…

The original decision to pull the film three days before its release had left distributor Peccadillo Pictures “deeply disappointed” and out of pocket as it had already begun marketing the film.

Peccadillo is due to release the film on VOD on March 7. 

The short window between theatrical release and VOD release contravenes Cineworld’s windowing policy but was initially overlooked by the chain.