I am am using Canadian theater chains as a reference. I don't know how this plays in the US... For years, films from Disney and Paramount were seen theatricaly exclusively at Famous Players Cinemans (I used to work in an FP cinema, and Paramount and FP were owned by Gulf & Western, so this pairing was obvious). Likewise, Cineplex Odeon would exclusively carry Fox and Universal titles. The downside of this was that if any studio was putting out a low grade product, it would hurt the chain when low attendance cut into any chance of the theatre making any profit. Nowadays, it seems any theater chain can play any movie they choose, so it is not uncommon for both chains to feature films such as Shrek, Monsters Inc., The Phantom Menace, Planet Of The Apes, or Harry Potter. What led to the demise of this practise?