Wednesday, April 29, 2020

News: Regal Entertainment Joins AMC in Refusing To Play Universal Movies After Trolls World Tour Statement

Cineworld, the owner of Regal Entertainment, the second largest theater chain in the United States, has joined AMC's previous statement, refusing to play Universal Pictures films in the wake of NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell's statement alluding to future releases being both theatrical and day and date home rental.  Cineworld said that "Universal's move is completely inappropriate and has nothign to do with good faith business practice, partnership, and transparency."

Amid theatrical closures and a global pandemic, Trolls World Tour released direct to video rental with a $19.99 fee for a 48-hour rental.  Earlier this week, NBC Universal announced that Trolls World Tour earned $95 million in three weeks of premium video on demand (PVOD).  Cineworld made clear that its ban is not for all Universal movies, simply those that do not respect the 90 day window between theatrical and digital releases.  "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," Cineworld said.

As we said earlier today, it will already be difficult to convince consumers to come back to the theaters when they do open.  Having new entertainment options exclusively in cinema is one way to entice moviegoers back to the physical theaters.  It is not surprising that both AMC and Cineworld would be protecting their business model.  We will just have to see what happens between them, and with other studios that are experimenting with direct to home rental models, such as Disney's Artemis Fowl and Warner Bros. Scoob!  

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