AMC Theaters And Universal Come To A Deal For On-Demand Movies

After a long battle, the theater chain and movie studio have developed a new plan.

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While movie theater chains continue to push back re-opening dates because of the COVID-19 pandemic, AMC Theatres and Universal Pictures--who had a spat back in April after Universal released Trolls: World Tour on-demand--are coming to an agreement on the future of movie releases. The plan involves a compromise between theatrical and home digital releases of new movies.

With AMC now looking to reopen its movie theaters in mid-August, the chain has come to an agreement with Universal on the distribution of profits for digital rentals, according to Variety. Now, Universal will have the ability to release on-demand for a roughly $20 rental fee--much like Invisible Man and The Hunt did earlier this year. The studio cannot sell or rent the movies for lower fees until three months after the films release in theaters. And AMC will get a cut of the money made this way. However, the specifics of the terms were not disclosed.

Variety notes that while movies from major franchises like Jurassic World and Fast & Furious could appear on-demand for a premium price, these blockbusters are more likely to have long runs in theaters, so it would be a much longer wait until the three-month rental period could begin. Smaller and mid-level films that normally wouldn't have a long theater run could be rented at a cheaper price much sooner.

Specifics regarding what Universal movies could be coming to an on-demand service were not revealed at this time.

"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," AMC's CEO Adam Aron said in a statement. "As people enjoy getting out of their homes, we believe the mystical escape and magical communal experience offered at our theatres will always be a compelling draw, including as it does our big screens, big sound and big seats not to mention the alluring aroma of our perfectly prepared popcorn."

While AMC is the largest theater chain, what does that mean for all the other movie theaters around the globe? Details of the deal only state AMC and Universal are working together. At this time, it's unknown how other theaters and movie studios could fit into this scenario in the future.

"The theatrical experience continues to be the cornerstone of our business," said Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. "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."

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jenovaschilld

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Edited By jenovaschilld

The pandemic is hastening the demise of the Movie theater as we have know them, just a little faster then natural evolution would have.

Blockbusters have propelled the overall intakes, but movie theaters have been closing down all over the country. And when adjusted for inflation, and population size - digital is the future. Only though swallowing up smaller chains has these last two big ones been able to survive.

Things will be fine in a couple of years, and humans like goldfish will have forgotten all about the pandemic and be back in the theaters but the industry will continue to die. They really need to go all IMAX, and or offer more unique experiences then what people cannot get from their OLED 8k TVs at home, watching movies on Netflix via $25 Firestick device where they just have to say, "Alexa show me another shitty fast and furious movie".

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tingtong

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@jenovaschilld:

Movie theaters in some shape or form will survive long past our life time; in fact its kind of imperative as part of the whole human control thing, unless you can find something better to fill in the gap. They will just have to find a way to make all public activities safe again because not even your kids grandchildren will be forgetting about the pandemic; as its already been speculated that the virus won’t be going away - ever.

For your average single Joe it won’t be missed as much and your personal home entertainment system will be sufficient enough… But for everybody else there was already a limited number of things to do with your significant other or family on the weekend etc…

Domestic violence and crime will continue to spiral out of control for the next few years I suspect. Say hello to the new rise of mental patients.

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cboye18

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Edited By cboye18

@jenovaschilld: Ehh movies suck nowadays compared to the 90's and early 2000. Marvel cinema might be the only reason why people still visit the theaters. I don't even have a subscription service. For me, movies (and to a lesser degree, tv series) have become so creatively bankrupt that I don't even find them worth watching for free. Poor writers, directors and mediocre actors are the standards today.

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tingtong

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@cboye18:

The same could be said even more so for games.

At least technology has better improved in the viewing department…I find myself watching shit just for its eye candy these days; which is at least enough to keep me entertained for a while where as most games are mind bogglingly boring and unoriginal, interactive movies with all the same mechanics. Everything’s the exact same shit…they just slap a different skin/name on it.

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wiseman0

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@tingtong: I would definitely say that video games have a more diverse playing field 'script wise', than these films. The writing in video games overall has been better than the movie industry for some time now.

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tingtong

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@wiseman0:

Depends on which films you speak of…

Anime is even more creative/diverse than video games if you have an open mind. I regularly find them way better than most movies.

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cboye18

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Edited By cboye18

@tingtong: True, which is why I have emulators on my PC. I'm playing old games I've missed in my younger years (right now playing Skies of Arcadia Legends) and although some things can feel dated, they make up for it by being unique and full of heart. In a way the good classic games give a much more refreshing experience than any modern, streamlined games we get today.

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KumaTenshi

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Edited By KumaTenshi

Uh huh, if theaters were so sure the "experience" was so great, they wouldn't be so god damn against on-demand releases being a thing, especially in a pandemic world.

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