Universal and US cinema chain AMC strike up Video On Demand deal

It comes after the two companies had a disagreement earlier in the year over the release of 'Trolls World Tour'

Universal and AMC have struck up a new deal that will see the US cinema chain benefit from the release of movies released on Premium Video On Demand.

Back in April, a rift between the two companies following the release of Trolls World Tour led to AMC saying they would not screen films distributed by Universal once cinemas reopened after the coronavirus lockdown.

The dispute came after Universal announced that it would release films “on both formats” (digitally and in cinemas) after the lockdown was over, considering the “viability” of on-demand releases.

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Trolls Universal cinemas
‘Trolls World Tour’ originally caused a rift between Universal and AMC. CREDIT: Universal

Things now seem to have been patched up between the two companies as a new deal will see them sharing access to big movies.

The move allows Universal to release its films on Premium Video On Demand (this will generate about $20 per rental) within three weeks of their debut in cinemas. The companies will share in the proceeds from the rentals the same way they split profits from distribution.

According to VarietyUniversal is aiming to stick with a more traditional three-month window for bigger movies such as No Time To Die and Jurassic World: Dominion.

“The theatrical experience continues to be the cornerstone of our business,” says Universal’s Donna Langley. “The partnership we’ve forged with AMC is driven by our collective desire to ensure a thriving future for the film distribution ecosystem and to meet consumer demand with flexibility and optionality.”

“Focusing on the long-term health of our industry, we would note that just as restaurants have thrived even though every home has a kitchen, AMC is highly confident that moviegoers will come to our theatres in huge numbers in a post-pandemic world,” adds AMC boss Adam Aron.

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Meanwhile, AMC Theatres revealed last month that customers wouldn’t be required to wear face masks when visiting cinemas following the lockdown.

In a new interview with Variety, President Adam Aron said the move was an attempt to avoid “political controversy.”

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