Norwegian film distributors are attempting to increase local rental rates for their future releases. The current level of film rental charges is regulated by a Film Rental Agreement between local distributors and exhibitors. The current agreement, however, expires on January 1, and is now undergoing active re-negotiation. Early talks have already been disrupted, however, when a proposal from the exhibitors was thrown out by the distributors, who considered the rental charges too low.
All film rental charges in Norway are regulated by a Film Rental Agreement, dating from 1953, between The Norwegian Film Distributors Association and the National Association of Municipal Cinemas. While the agreement prevents cinemas from negotiating individual terms, it also results in lower rental income for the US majors in Norway compared to the rest of Scandinavia.
Although highly unusual by international standards, the agreement has been widely accepted by the industry as a measure for protecting the existence of small regional cinemas which would otherwise be unable to afford 'free market' charges.
The main reason for the existence of such an agreement is that Norwegian municipalities have regulated the number of theatres as well as their ownership structure since 1913 with 95 per cent of screens still under municipal control.