Cineworld Follows in AMC’s Footsteps, Will No Longer Play Universal Movies
Following the recent announcement that AMC Theatres now refuse to play Universal Pictures’ movies after the studio released Trolls World Tour digitally and NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell’s comments about the sequel’s success releasing on PVOD, Regal owner Cineworld has followed in the theater chains’ footsteps announcing they will also not be playing Universal films in their theaters, according to Collider.
In a statement, Cineworld claims: “Universal’s move is completely inappropriate and certainly has nothing to do with good faith business practice, partnership and transparency.”
“Cineworld’s policy with respect to the window is clear, well known in the industry and is part of our commercial deal with our movie suppliers,” the statement continued. “We invest heavily in our cinemas across the globe and this allows the movie studios to provide customers all around the world to watch the movies in the best experience. There is no argument that the big screen is the best way to watch a movie. Universal unilaterally chose to break our understanding and did so at the height of the COVID-19 crisis when our business is closed, more than 35,000 employees are at home and when we do not yet have a clear date for the reopening of our cinemas.
“Cineworld’s roots go back 90 years in the industry and it was always open to showing any movie as long as the rules were kept and not changed by one-sided moves. Today we make it clear again that we will not be showing movies that fail to respect the windows as it does not make any economic sense for us. We have full confidence in the industry’s current business model. No one should forget that the theatrical side of this industry generated an all-time record income of $42 billion last year and the movie distributors’ share of this was about $20 billion.”
Universal is home to major financially successful franchises, including The Fast Saga’s upcoming titles F9 and the Hobbs & Shaw sequel, the Jurassic World trilogy, the upcoming Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, and so on.
Responding to AMC’s announcement, Universal released the following statement: “Our goal in releasing Trolls: World Tour on PVOD was to deliver entertainment to people who are sheltering at home, while movie theatres and other forms of outside entertainment are unavailable. Based on the enthusiastic response to the film, we believe we made the right move. In fact, given the choice of not releasing Trolls: World Tour, which would not only have prevented consumers from experiencing the movie but also negatively impacted our partners and employees, the decision was clear.”