Universal has penned deals with both AMC and Cinemark now about theatrical release windows.
Last summer Universal made a deal with AMC theaters about how long they need to leave films in theaters before moving to VOD and now they have reached a similar agreement with Cinemark.
The new agreement allows Universal to put new movies onto VOD platforms in a shorter amount of time. Here’s what Variety said:
“Under the terms of the agreement, Universal can put new movies on premium video-on-demand platforms in as little as 17 days. Films that generate at least $50 million in opening weekend ticket sales, however, will have to play exclusively in theaters for 31 days, or five full weekends. Traditionally, new releases remain on the big screen for 75 to 90 days before they move to digital platforms for a $19.99 rental fee.”
Basically big movies that generate more revenue will have to stay in theaters longer but it’s 1/3 to 1/2 as long as they needed to be in theaters before. Of course it’s all up to the studio if they choose to put films out on VOD after those time periods or if they want to hold them longer for On-Demand release. Right now, given the financial situations of theaters and studios, I would think the studios would put the stuff out there for VOD as soon as they can.
Universal and AMC reached agreements a few months ago that would give AMC a percentage of VOD sales on premium channels (movies over $20) and they can’t charge much lower prices until three months after the film runs in their theaters.
No matter what happens the landscape is changing for movie theaters and Universal is in there making deals and at least appearing like they are helping. Disney really hasn’t done much other than push films back, all while saying that Disney+ subscribers can expect Premium Pass offerings moving forward.
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