Universal Studios and Cinemark Theaters just signed a new distribution deal as movie theaters evolve to coexist with the ever-expanding direct-to-consumer market.
Under the new agreement, Universal will now run movies exclusively in theaters for at least three weekends (17 days). Films that collect at least $50 million in box office receipts for the premiere week will stay in theaters for at least five weeks (31 days) before becoming available to video-streaming services such as Comcast’s Peacock.
This deal is similar to the new deal between Universal and AMC theaters, cutting the cinema giant’s exclusivity window from 90 days to just 17. No other details are known about the deal as of right now.
AMC CEO Adam Aron wrote the following response earlier this year:
“It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice. Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theatres in the United States, Europe or the Middle East…“This policy affects any and all Universal movies per se, goes into effect today and as our theatres reopen, and is not some hollow or ill-considered threat. Incidentally, this policy is not aimed solely at Universal out of pique or to be punitive in any way, it also extends to any movie maker who unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes.”
Read More: AMC and Universal End Feud with New Deal
It is projected that other movie theater chains will follow in AMC and Cinemark’s footsteps as Universal continues to lead the charge in setting a new precedence for theatrical releases, preparing for the completion and release of upcoming films like Jurassic World: Dominion, News of the World, and Minions: Rise of Gru.
“We believe a more dynamic theatrical window, whereby movie theaters continue to provide an event-sized launching platform for films that maximize box office and bolsters the success of subsequent distribution channels, is in the shared best interests of studios, exhibitors and, most importantly, moviegoers,” said Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi.
The Walt Disney Company, meanwhile, has continued to either delay the release of its upcoming films–like Black Widow and Jungle Cruise–or has decided to cancel the theatrical release all together for a Disney+ premiere like it did for Mulan, Artemis Fowl, and Soul. Disney has stated that the company’s priority at this time is streaming.
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What do you think about this new deal between Universal and Cinemark? Let us know in the comments!