In the agreement announced Tuesday, the movie theater company will be granted theatrical exclusivity for all upcoming Universal and Focus Features films for the film's first 17 days (first three weekends) of release.
Afterward, Universal, which is owned by Comcast, has the option to make those movies available on premium video-on-demand (PVOD) for viewers at home and can use AMC's own on-demand platform.
“AMC enthusiastically embraces this new industry model both because we are participating in the entirety of the economics of the new structure, and because premium video on demand creates the added potential for increased movie studio profitability, which should in turn lead to the green-lighting of more theatrical movies,” said AMC CEO Adam Aron in a statement obtained by The Wrap. “This multi-year agreement preserves exclusivity for theatrical viewing for at least the first three weekends of a film’s release, during which time a considerable majority of a movie’s theatrical box office revenue typically is generated. AMC will also share in these new revenue streams that will come to the movie ecosystem from premium video on demand.”
Universal Films Entertainment Group Vice Chairman Peter Levinsohn added, “Universal’s commitment to innovation in how we deliver content to audiences is what our artists, partners and shareholders all expect of us, and we are excited about the opportunity this new structure presents to grow our business. We are grateful to AMC for their partnership and the leadership they have shown in working with us to reach this historic deal.”
Before the coronavirus pandemic, theaters would have exclusive rights to play movies for at least 90 days.
Most indoor theaters have been closed across the country since mid-March because of the pandemic and aren't sure when they'll be able to open back up again to full capacity.