On Tuesday the months-long beef between AMC and Universal Pictures came to an end: The movie theater chain reached a deal with the movie studio wherein first-run releases could wind up on PVOD after only three weeks of theatrical release. It’s an historic move, but also a controversial one. And one of AMC’s largest competitors has already taken umbrage with it.
According to CNBC, Cineworld, which owns Regal Cinemas, released a statement saying they are “not changing our policy with regards to showing only movies that respect the theatrical window.” What’s more, they said they “do not see any business sense in this model,” adding that they “clearly see this as a wrong move at the wrong time.”
Regal and AMC are the country’s two largest movie theater chains. Regal runs some 7,100 screens while AMC has around 8,000. (The third largest, Cinemark, has not yet commented on the AMC/Universal deal.)
As per CNBC, the landmark deal “stipulates that Universal and its subsidiary Focus Features must play movies in cinemas for at least three weekends, or 17 days, before seeking a premium video on-demand release.” The previous deal gave the theater chain exclusive rights to films for around 90 days.
Not enough details about the deal have been made public, but it’s believe that by sharing some of the revenue of the films, it should help AMC recoup some of the losses they’ve endured during the pandemic. But Cineworld/Regal clearly sees otherwise.