Universal Strikes deals with Cinemark to shorten theatrical window


Another installment in the exciting saga of studios vs. theater chains during the COVID-19 era. As we know, the pandemic has kept theaters closed for most of the year, and while most studios have chosen to push their films to release into 2021 or beyond, others have moved some. movies to PVOD or streaming service. Universal Pictures is one of those studios that has moved a handful of movies to PVOD release, including TROLLS: WORLD TOUR, but their new release strategy didn’t suit movie chains… at least initially.

Adam Aron, CEO of AMC Theaters, threatened to never play Universal movies in theaters again, but months later Universal and AMC reached a multi-year deal that would reduce the theatrical release window to 17. days. After this period, Universal would have the option of making the titles available on PVOD platforms. Other theater chains, including Cinemark, were not convinced, with Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi saying:We believe that an exclusive theatrical showcase is of crucial importance. While we have publicly stated that we are open to having conversations with our studio partners to evolve with them, we are aware that an overly aggressive shortened theatrical window could have a negative impact on the mid-to-late-life of d ‘a movie.“Well, Universal’s deal has struck again and just like AMC, Cinemark has changed its mind. The two companies have reached a deal that will shorten the cinematic window for all Universal films, even after the pandemic is ending. The deal states that any Universal movie that opens for $ 50 million or more at the domestic box office will be available via PVOD only 31 days after its big screen premiere. All other films that fall under the Universal, Dreamworks Animation, or Focus Features banner will be available after 17 days. Cinemark, and AMC for that matter, are expected to share the revenue from these PVOD versions.

In a statement, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said: “ We believe that a more dynamic theatrical window, in which theaters continue to provide an event-sized launch platform for films that maximize the box office and boost the success of subsequent distribution channels , is in the common best interest of studios, exhibitors and, most importantly, moviegoers.“Donna Langley, President of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, added,”Universal’s century-old partnership with the exhibition is rooted in the theatrical experience, and we are more determined than ever to allow audiences to experience our films on the big screen.“With another major theater chain coming to a deal with Universal, it’s likely just the beginnings of a brave new world that will change the business for years to come.


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