Regal Joins AMC to Give Up Future VOD Proposed by Universal

Regal Joins AMC to Give Up Future VOD Proposed by Universal

Regal Joins AMC to Give Up Future VOD Proposed by Universal

The row over the future of theatrical releases began when NBCUniversal boss Jeff Shell hailed the success of Trolls World Tour following its video on-demand release earlier this month.

John Fithian, chief executive of the National Association of Theatre Owners, accused the film company of using the pandemic to alter the existing release structure.

AMC Theaters CEO Adam Aron is seriously angry at Universal's move, and plans to take action. One has to wonder what is going on in the Regal and Cinemark war rooms right now, as the country's second and third-largest theater chains debate whether they should join AMC Theatres in condemning Universal, or attempt to profit from the fact that their biggest competitor will no longer be carrying Universal films.

In an open letter released by AMC [via CNN], the company conceded that the release of Trolls World Tour was an "exception" in "unprecedented times".

However, Universal has rescheduled most of its major films for cinema release later this year, such as the next instalments in the Minions and Purge franchises, as have the other major Hollywood studios.

But here's the most important point: "Today we make it clear again that we will not be showing movies that fail to respect the windows as it does not make any economic sense for us".

This approach influences any Universal movies in sync is going live nowadays. Aron then went on to say that "Any filmmaker who unilaterally abandons current window sales practices in the absence of bona fide negotiations between us, so that as a distributor and exhibitor both benefit and neither is affected by such changes". Cineworld then added that Universal's move to present DreamWorks Animation's TROLLS: WORLD TOUR via PVOD was "completely inappropriate".

Odeon Cinemas has banned screenings of all films from the Fast & Furious maker Universal Pictures after the studio said it would break with tradition and skip releasing some films in cinemas, instead making them directly available on streaming and on-demand services.

He declared absent further discussions, "decades of incredibly successful business activity together has sadly come to an end".

"This policy affects any and all Universal movies per se, goes into effect today and as our theaters reopen, and is not some hollow or ill-considered threat".

All this, over Trolls World Tour. A day earlier, Universal said it would steer another upcoming release, the Judd Apatow comedy "The King of Staten Island", to on-demand.

Warner Bros will release Scoob! direct to streaming next month, Disney has earmarked Artemis Fowl for Disney+, and Paramount title Lovebirds is headed straight to Netflix, in another industry first.

Late Tuesday, Universal responded it was disappointed with the AMC and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation statements.

Universal, one of the major Hollywood studios, issued a response, saying it "absolutely believes in the theatrical experience and made no statement to the contrary".

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