AMC's new deal with Universal gives it a 17-day window of exclusivity

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,379   +121
Staff member
Editor's take: It’s hard to say which side is taking the bigger risk here. With the pandemic seemingly far from being wiped out, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the next several months will look like. If theaters close down once again due to health concerns, will Universal still be bound by its agreement with AMC? Are studios going to wait around for theaters to reopen or push distribution partners to go with premium on demand instead? What will the future of movie theaters look like in the long term? Are people going to be willing to sit arm-to-arm with a room full of strangers again once we are clear of this whole thing?

It seems that cooler heads have prevailed in the dispute between AMC Theatres and Universal.

Back in April as theaters across the country and around the globe were shut down in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19, Universal elected to sidestep the traditional theatrical release model and distribute new pictures through premium video on demand.

This move infuriated AMC, prompting the company to ban Universal films from screening in their theaters in the US, Europe and the Middle East.

It remained that way for the past few months, largely without incident, considering theaters were shut down due to the pandemic. But with theater operators gearing up to reopen their doors, AMC went back to the negotiating table and hammered out a new deal with Universal.

Per the multi-year agreement, AMC will get at least three weekends (17 days) of theatrical exclusivity for all Universal Pictures and Focus Features releases. After that, the studio can launch films across premium video on demand platforms.

Notably, the deal only applies to theaters in the US. AMC said an international distribution agreement will be discussed in the coming weeks.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Image credit: Fer Gregory, Mr.Music

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OneSpeed

Posts: 389   +192
The secret sauce is content. New streaming sites need content in order to survive, and AMC is no different. Nobody is going to a theater that doesn't have access to new movies.
 

m4a4

Posts: 1,862   +1,594
TechSpot Elite
The secret sauce is content. New streaming sites need content in order to survive, and AMC is no different. Nobody is going to a theater that doesn't have access to new movies.
Not entirely true. If the movie is fantastical enough, people will try to go to the theater at least once for the big screen experience.
Few people have a (somewhat) comparable home theater in their house lol
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,203   +5,589
Not sure how this will play out, especially if there is a crop of infections that trace back to the theater ...
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 444   +306
TechSpot Elite
Not sure how this will play out, especially if there is a crop of infections that trace back to the theater ...
They are continuing a very familiar pattern here in the US.

1. Pandemic is obviously no joke and many theaters close.
2. Pandemic gets worse and many, many more theaters close.
3. Incredibly, in the US, the Pandemic gets worse. We Are Opening Soon Y'all !!!
 
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OneSpeed

Posts: 389   +192
Not entirely true. If the movie is fantastical enough, people will try to go to the theater at least once for the big screen experience.
Few people have a (somewhat) comparable home theater in their house lol
The movie = content. A theater is useless without content.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,441   +1,710
Considering what comes out of Hollyweirdo Land, I doubt I'd be rushing out to waste money, when I can just wait and see them on tv or rent them at red box cheaper. Plus, with all of this Wuhan Flu garbage, everyone is afraid to leave their burrows in the sand.
 
I gave up going to the movies. I was a regular movie goer up until my 40's I would go usually once a week. I gave it up due to the user experience, when I go to the movies I want to see and hear the movie. I don't want to pay to have peoples cell phones light up all around me and people having meaningless conversation during the movie. I remember years ago I saw I am Legend at the movies and the majority of the audience was hooting and hollering at the screen throughout the entire movie, sorry but for the price of a ticket I think we should be able to enjoy the movie in peace.

Now I just watch new releases from the comfort of my living room on my time.