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AMC Theaters Cuts Ties With Universal Studios Over VOD Releases

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
If you’ve been paying attention to how COVID-19 is affecting the movie industry, you already know things are a little messy, but this game as a surprise. AMC theaters has told Universal Studios they will no longer play ANY of their movies over Universal’s decision you skip theaters altogether for their recent blockbuster Trolls sequel, which went on to make $100 million through VOD. While many blockbusters have been postponed, some such as Trolls have trudged forward, opting to release on VOD instead of following traditional theatrical release schedule.


Here’s the letter AMC theaters CEO Adam Aron sent according to JOBLO:

“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. Currently, with the press comment today, Universal is the only studio contemplating a wholesale change to the status quo. Hence, this immediate communication in response.

Universal’s unilateral pronouncements on this issue are unpalatable to us, as has always been the case, AMC is willing to sit down with Universal to discuss different windows strategies and different economic models between your company and ours, however, in the absence of such discussions, and an acceptable conclusion thereto, our decades of incredibly successful business activity together has sadly come to an end."

I don’t think I blame Universal here. I don’t know what they are contractually obligated to do, but VOD during COVID-19 seems like a solid play. What do you think? Smart movie by Universal? Do you think AMC will stick to this?
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
This seems like a terrible business decision that they will absolutely back out of before some of the huge Universal releases hit theaters.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
@Konshentz yeah I’m kind of thinking this was a knee-jerk reaction and they’ll change their tune when Jurassic World 3 tickets are ripe for the picking. Not to mention many other mega blockbusters.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
When your ship is sinking, you have to throw over the cargo to save it.

AMC(majority owned by Chinese ironically) just told Universal good luck in China. China consistently outperforms America with the blockbusters. It was their only play to stem the VOD.
===
Also, I followed MoviePass closely. I was invested in the parent company. The 3 majors worked together to destroy MP. I expect at least one of the other majors to join AMC or threaten at the very least.
 
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Impaired

Registered Member
I cannot see how this benefits them at all. I think AMC just shot themselves in the foot.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Movie theaters will be talked about one day like video rental stores. A cool piece of nostalgia of a simpler time where technology was not nearly as convenient. I don't think they'll ever vanish entirely, but AMC's time is limited.
 

dDave

Well-Known Member
V.I.P.
Movie theaters will be talked about one day like video rental stores. A cool piece of nostalgia of a simpler time where technology was not nearly as convenient. I don't think they'll ever vanish entirely, but AMC's time is limited.
Tend to agree. As long as they can make the experience in a theater better than at home, there will be a market for it. Most people aren't willing to put in a huge screen and sound system to watch movies at home. Movie theater attendance has been trending down for decades though, there is a point to be made there.

I notice every time I go to the movies that the theater is at least half empty. I think we'll see a lot of theaters close and then the remaining theaters will snatch up all that business.
 

Impaired

Registered Member
Every time I go to the movies, the experience is worse than the time before. Movie Tavern started out great but now the menu is crap and you can't get alcoholic milkshakes to go with your popcorn.

The nearest AMC is trying to make everything self-serve. Sodas, butter for your popcorn, all that you do yourself.

The last awesome movie experience i had was in Columbus, OH, while i was out there on a contract for a couple of weeks. I walked over in the snow storm, it was close, and every person working there was so nice I had to write the theater manager.
 

Konshentz

Konshentz
I still enjoy going to the theater. It's still the best way to watch the big blockbusters. My local theaters are still always packed. It's pretty expensive, sure, and you will occasionally run into idiots that ruin the experience. But until I can build my own theater to my satisfaction, I will still continue to go to the theater 10-15 times a year. Saying all that, I could definitely see it fade more and more as the years go by. It's a bummer but it's inevitable.
 

Impaired

Registered Member
Theaters will always exist. The experience of the big screen is sort of magical.
 
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