AMC and Universal has done a deal that seems to usher in a change in the world of cinema, and the other chains do not like it one bit! They are coming out one by one to slam the deal and its potential impact.
Regal have already spoken out. Now the other US movie theater giant Cinemark has waded in. CEO Mark Zoradi told analysts yesterday that
“We believe an exclusive theatrical window is critically important. While we have publicly stated we’re willing to have conversations with our studio partners to evolve with them, we are mindful that an overly aggressive shortened theatrical window could have an adverse impact on the mid-to tail-end of a film’s life.”
They did leave one concession in their statement. Whereas Regal have gone with a zero negotiation line, Cinemark did say:
“We will be very careful and methodical about how we approach any change to the theatrical windows. We continue to carefully analyze and research this matter. And we will endeavor to ensure any modifications are in the best interests of the overall industry, our company and our shareholders.”
The Universal-AMC agreement will allow movies to be made available on premium video-on-demand after just seventeen days of cinematic release. Other studios were expected to follow suit but the refusal of other chains to play ball means the revolution is stalling, if not stopped. It all hinges on Universal’s success in this PVOD space. Hollywood will follow the dollar, regardless.