30 Jul 2020
From theaters to streaming platforms: AMC, Universal ink game-changing deal
Written byShubham Dasgupta
AMC Theaters and Universal Pictures have buried the hatchet to sign a deal that allows the studio's films to jump to streaming platforms after just 17 days or three weeks of theater run.
This game-changing deal was signed on Tuesday, in what seems like a clean business slate after AMC in March vowed to never screen the studio's films in the future.
What does the pact mean?
The pact allows Universal Pictures to have leverage over viewers' preferences.
If the film does well enough, it can continue running in theaters as it releases on video-streaming platforms after the agreed time span.
If it doesn't, the studio can reach out to new audiences through OTT platforms and AMC Theaters gets a share of the streaming revenue as well.
So, why did AMC ban Universal?
The feud between AMC and Universal started in March when the studio refused to stall the release of Trolls World Tour, despite a surge in coronavirus cases.
The film was released as video-on-demand and in theaters the same day, on April 10.
Viewers lapped up the film online and theaters, sporadically open in safer zones, incurred losses, prompting AMC to ban Universal's films indefinitely.
After impasse, giants struck a deal which favors both
With the deadlock ending, both AMC and Universal feel they have won.
AMC is positive that after the pandemic gets over, people wouldn't want to miss out on the unparalleled outdoor experience and throng to theaters even if the same title is available on OTT.
Similarly, Universal Pictures lauded the deal for bringing cinema to the audience everywhere harmoniously.
Will more similar deals be inked in future?
When a giant studio such as Universal signs such a deal with the largest US theater chain, the film distribution industry takes note.
Media analysts claimed that this move may prompt other studios to reduce their respective theatrical deals with distributors.
They added that the big theater brands may influence such deals while independent distributors have to adapt to the change.
When will theaters open in US?
As per reports, AMC Pictures is eyeing to reopen its theaters in the States latest by August end.
Its rival Regal Cinemas is also looking at reopening theaters around the same time.
Meanwhile, Universal Pictures is also gearing up with upcoming releases of Candyman, F9, 355, Halloween Kills, and other attractive titles to test the deal.