It looks like AMC Theatres is going to be alone in its deal with Universal Pictures in reducing the theatrical to PVOD window to a mere 17 days. After Regal recently denounced the deal as “bad business”, Cinemark has now chimed in on the matter and they’re with Regal in regards to not making this an option for their locations.
CEO of Cinemark, Mark Zoradi, spoke with analysts earlier this week and he stood by the belief that respecting the theatrical window is “critically important”:
“We believe an exclusive theatrical window is critically important. While we have publicly stated we’re willing to have conversations with our studio partners to evolve with them, we are mindful that an overly aggressive shortened theatrical window could have an adverse impact on the mid-to-tail-end of a film’s life.”
Zoradi is open to negotiating with major studios about shortening the theatrical window but, at the same time, he would not get specific about how many days would not constitute an “overly aggressive shortened” theatrical window:
“We will be very careful and methodical about how we approach any change to the theatrical windows. We continue to carefully analyze and research this matter. And we will endeavor to ensure any modifications are in the best interests of the overall industry, our company and our shareholders.”
The historic pact between Universal Pictures and AMC Theatres caused a huge seismic reaction between other exhibitors and studios. The deal will allow the studio’s movies to be made available on PVOD after just 17 days of play in cinemas. That extremely shortens the traditional theatrical window of nearly three months before studios can make movies available for home viewing. The pact will initially cover AMC’s U.S. locations, but the two partners will also discuss a possible international rollout. AMC will share in the revenue from what is made from the PVOD release but the two sides haven’t disclosed any of the financial details.