AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron is sticking to his guns about the theater’s decision to ban streaming NBCUniversal films in the future. The two entertainment mogul and movie production company have had a disagreement about whether it’s ok for new releases to skip the 90-day theatrical window, and so AMC is pulling out of any new deals to play Universal Pictures movies at any of its locations when they start reopening July 15.
In a first for new movie premiers, NBCUniversal took Trolls World Tour straight to home streaming while theaters were shut down because of COVID-19, and brought home $100 million in revenue in just three weeks. The success of that straight-to-streaming decision led NBCUniversal to announce it would be releasing all its new movies on VOD at the same time they’re theaters.
AMC took issue with NBCUniversal making the call to forego the unwritten rule of movies having a theatrical window before heading to VOD and said they won’t screen Universal Pictures going forward. Does this mean new releases like and Fast and Furious 9 and Jurassic World: Dominion won’t be welcome at AMC?
“Yes, assuming we can’t have discussions with Universal that solve our concerns,” Aron said. “Remember, AMC has been showing Universal movies happily and profitably for decades. We didn’t change the status quo, and we didn’t actually have any protest about Trolls at all. We understood that our theaters were shut, that they have a business to run, and that they felt they needed to take Trolls to the home rather than waiting.”
Apparently, the two companies still have an open dialogue and are discussing ways to work together peacefully.
“As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theatres, as well as on PVOD when that distribution outlet makes sense,” said Universal Pictures Chairwoman Donna Langley. “We look forward to having additional private conversations with our exhibition partners, but are disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt from AMC and [National Association of Theatre Owners] to confuse our position and our actions.”
So if you’re planning on seeing any Universal Pictures movies this summer, you won’t be able to watch them at any AMC Theaters. But the good news is it sounds like you’ll have the option to watch them at any other theater chain, as well as right from your couch with video-on-demand.
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