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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 13:46 GMT
Museum movie 'pulled in DVD row'
Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum
Night at the Museum stars Ben Stiller as a security guard
Major UK cinemas have been accused of withdrawing family film Night at the Museum in a row over the timing of its DVD release.

Starring Ricky Gervais and Ben Stiller, the film opened in cinemas in December and the DVD release is set for Easter.

Film studio Fox told industry publication Screen Daily that the short window between cinema and DVD release had led Odeon and Vue to pull the film.

Both chains said the film was no longer showing but refused to say why.

DVD release dates are a hot issue in the movie industry.

As of today, the film is no longer showing
Odeon spokeswoman
Cinemas in Italy and Germany have already forced studios to delay the DVD releases of a string of films.

According to Fox, cinemas said the 13-week gap between Night at the Museum's big and small screen debuts was too short.

Fox executive vice-president Christian Grass told Screen Daily: "I feel this is a real tempest in a teacup in terms of exhibitor-distributor relations.

"But the real loser is the consumer. The exhibitors are removing the customer choice to see a crowd-pleasing movie on the big screen.

"This is a movie that played well during the holiday period and we think it only fair to be able to release the DVD at Easter."

A spokeswoman for Odeon told the BBC News website: "As of today, the film is no longer showing." But neither Odeon nor Vue would comment further.

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