The popular theater chain, AMC and Universal studios were at odds earlier in the year after Universal announced that they would be bypassing the theaters and releasing videos straight to on-demand. AMC wasn’t happy about this and banned Universal movies as a result. Now, though, they’ve come to a compromise that will benefit them and movie consumers.
Instead of the standard 90 day exclusivity window — the time in which movies can be shown strictly in theaters — movies will now be in theaters just 3 weekends, or 17 days, and after this time, they are free to be released on-demand at any time.
This has actually been a long time coming, and it seems like the ban that AMC placed on Universal movies simply pushed the inevitable to finally happen. Especially with continued COVID concerns, people are not flocking to get back to theaters, and its unclear how theater-going will resume even after a vaccination is implemented. People are now more than ever craving video content from the comfort of their own homes.
This new 17-day window allows consumers who want to get their content at home the luxury much sooner, but it still allows for the maximum profitability for theaters and movie studios. The first 3 weekends is when the majority of the box office profit is made, so it makes sense to keep the exclusivity during that time. But releasing the movies on-demand immediately after still allows studios to maximize the hype of a newly released movie.
So overall, everyone wins: the studios, the theaters, and most importantly, the consumers.
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Hannah Michelle Lambert is the Social Media + Events Coordinator at Worthix, as well as the host of the monthly CX News Recap segment. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.