This has been a hot topic with me lately, the lack of new releases. With theatres shut down and making zero revenue it has blown my mind that this is just happening. AMC and Universal have agreed to quicker releases to digital.
Until now there has been an amount of time that a movie has exclusivity to stay in theatre. This rule was made up way too long ago. This helped the theatre capitalize on its revenue before it went to rental services like Blockbuster or Rogers Video. The times have changed and so should the rule.
It used to be that a movie would have the ability to remain out of rental service for 70 to 90 days. The agreement forged by Universal and AMC will see this shortened to just 17. What does this mean? It means that 3 weeks after a movie is released, it can hit a digital rental space. The 17 days ensures the title gets 3 full weekends at the box office. Services like iTunes, Amazon, or even AMC’s own app will carry the title. A premium of $20 will be the price if you want an early digital release. AMC as well as Universal will continue to share the revenue when they hit a premium rental. If you are looking for a $6 rental you will need to wait the normal 3 months.
Until recently there has been a feud between the two companies after Trolls: World Tour had such incredible success going straight to digital. Although the theatres were closed, there were some strong words exchanged about the future of Universal movies at AMC. It seems as if they have found common ground and this will help both parties share and maximize revenue during these times.
Although this is not exactly what I was looking for, I think it’s a step in the right direction. This will no doubt create precedence where theatres and studios start looking to shared revenue in both theatrical and premium digital rental revenue. With lots of theatres shut down still, the ones that are open have to be starving for new content. This is an incredible compromise and I hope it is something that starts to grow in the industry.