Regal Cinemas owner Cineworld is speaking out in support of AMC Theatres saying will also refuse to play Universal Pictures movies due to NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell’s comments about opening movies in theaters and through premium on-demand.
“Universal’s move is completely inappropriate and certainly has nothing to do with good faith business practice, partnership and transparency,” Cineworld said.
Shell told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Universal would release movies in both formats after seeing the success of Trolls World Tour had on PVOD. AMC slammed Universal citing their long history and saying Universal is breaking the business model.
Trolls World Tour took in over $100 million in premium VOD rentals in its first three weeks of play in North America. The 48-hour rental was available for $19.99.
AMC and Cineworld were under the impression that the release of Trolls World Tour on PVOD would only be due to movie theater closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If no agreement is met, both chains will lose out on Universal movies including F9, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Sing 2, and Jurassic World: Dominion which are slated to release in 2021.
Cineworld’s statement wraps up explaining it won’t change regardless of what may happen, “Cineworld’s roots go back 90 years in the industry and it was always open to showing any movie as long as the rules were kept and not changed by one sided moves. 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.”
Before the pandemic, studios would release movies digitally 90 days after its theatrical release. With other studios like Warner Bros. and Disney releasing some of their films digitally, forgoing a theatrical release, studios and movie theaters will have to come to an agreement.
The news was first reported by Deadline.