Universal and Cinemark sign a deal for a new, much shorter release window. Much like the recent deal with AMC, Universal has agreed to a 30-day theatrical release for films over $50 million. Any production under that can be released to the home market after 17 days.
We believe a more dynamic theatrical window, whereby movie theaters continue to provide an event-sized launching platform for films that maximize box office and bolsters the success of subsequent distribution channels, is in the shared best interests of studios, exhibitors and, most importantly, moviegoers.Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi in Statement
This shakeup follows the adaptations made by the industry during COVID-19. Universal starting this off by releasing Trolls 2: World Tour to the home market, skipping theaters entirely. This was widely accepted in the early days of the pandemic. Trolls 2 then outsold the original film, making over $100 million in the first three weeks. Universal then announced they would be bypassing the theaters for all future releases.
AMC, Cinemark, and smaller theaters retaliated by banning Universal movies. The following debates brought into question the usefulness of theaters in a modern age. Many homes have big and sharp TVs as prices for 4k became reasonable. Theaters claim their value comes from creating hype for the upcoming movie. More details can be found in our previous articles.
This new compromise will likely become the industry standard. Giving theaters an opportunity to stay in business while studios can quickly hit the home market where they have larger profit margins.
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