AMC theaters will no longer show Universal movies

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Ghostworld, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Wow. Digital versus theater showdown, big time.

    AMC Theaters will no longer play Universal movies after Trolls World Tour’s on-demand success

    AMC Theatres will no longer play Universal films effective immediately after “unacceptable” comments were made from NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell on its decision to bypass a traditional theatrical release for Trolls World Tour and make it a digital exclusive, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Shell noted that Trolls World Tour succeeded their expectations, pulling in nearly $100 million in revenue through digital sales alone and more than five million copies sold.

    As a result, Shell noted that as “soon as theaters reopen, we expect to release movies on both formats,” meaning some movies would continue with theatrical releases while others would go directly to digital retailers or possibly land on NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock. The move led to a lengthy statement from AMC Theatres chair-CEO Adam Aron, who claimed that Shell’s comments were “unacceptable.”

    “It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice,” Aron wrote. “Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theatres in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.”

    AMC Theatres is the largest cinema chain in the US, and losing access to its theaters is a devastating blow for Universal’s biggest upcoming films, including F9. The ninth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise was delayed from this year until April 2021, when Universal expected to give it a proper theatrical release. F9 is a movie that’s likely to generate close to $1 billion at the global box office, if not more. It seems unlikely that Universal will give up its share of that revenue, but Aron reiterated in his statement this is “not some hollow or ill-considered threat.”
  2. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Should really take better care of himself

    Why don't they settle this in a mature, rational manner? Like having the two CEOs mudwrestle?
    pscreed, Simon A, melstapler and 20 others like this.
  3. polchik

    polchik Forum Resident

    and so it begins .....
  4. Mirrorblade.1

    Mirrorblade.1 Forum Resident

    Ha haha.. laughing hard Amc is doomed as future has been shown to them they can't handle it..
    There a dinosaur Amc.
    audiomixer likes this.
  5. greenscreened

    greenscreened Forum Resident

    Good idea, but instead of mud, why not the ever-so-pricey buttered popcorn?
    Not hot enough to burn them, but just enough to be a warm, sticky nuisance.
  6. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Central PA
    When was the last time you said, "I can't wait to see this's a Universal picture!"
    When was the last time you said, "I can't wait to go's an AMC theater!"
  7. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident

    New York
    I really hope Universal doesn't try to kill movie theaters, that's all I have to say
  8. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Should really take better care of himself

    I do have to say I have particular favorite movie theaters. Vickie and I are leaving Chicago, and we're going to desperately miss the Navy Pier IMAX theater - one of the few real IMAX screens.
  9. bostonscoots

    bostonscoots Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    Universal is releasing No Time To Die in November. Let's see how AMC feels about Universal then...
  10. Kyle B

    Kyle B Forum Resident

    Universal is releasing No Time to Die internationally, but not in the US, where it will be released by UA (MGM). Does AMC have a big international footprint?
    Steve Carras likes this.
  11. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    San Antonio, TX
    Nothing would make me happier than AMC going out of business tomorrow. That's coming from a guy who hasn't owned a TV in 26 years.

    They're completely and utterly mismanaged. I realize they're owned by a Chinese conglomerate. Regal and Cinamark can go next. We have at least 30 times and many screens in this town as when I moved here in the summer of 1990. After the over-saturated brick and mortar stores and the over saturated restaurants the movie theaters can go next. Finally this consumption driven economy is getting right-sized.
  12. detroit muscle

    detroit muscle Senior Member

    Universal were reacting to an unprecedented world event where all movie theatres were closed. I'm sure families with young children appreciated the chance to watch something that many children were looking forward to but would not be able to see under current restrictions.

    AMC just shot themselves in the foot. AMC needs content to show, whereas Universal has just proved they don't need them.
    cleandan, Thwacko, OldSoul and 4 others like this.
  13. PhilBorder

    PhilBorder Forum Resident

    Sheboygan, WI
    No one seems to be thinking ahead in this game. There is already a surplus of content, much more than viewers can watch, as streaming services are simply trying to garner eyeballs, not necessarily profits. At some point, the accountants will clear their throats and begin making noise about ROI.

    Things could evolve in unprecedented ways, like five years from now "Universal will no longer show AMC Movies"
  14. Cry me a river, AMC. Go away, and someone else will happily take your place.
  15. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Should really take better care of himself

    Where did the hatred for AMC come from? Vickie and I are happy and proud members of AMC's A*List program, and love it. As soon as the theaters reopen, we're going to be back there watching 3 movies a week in the theater, for $25 a month.
  16. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    I've always thought it should be released to home, same time as the Theater.

    Not everyone likes going to the Theater. Especially if you bring the whole family, it gets rather expensive fast....

    Makes me think it will be dangerous times for AMC
    audiomixer and bpmd1962 like this.
  17. profholt82

    profholt82 Resident Blowhard

    West Michigan
    Yes, and this made some sense during the pandemic. However, in that interview Jeff Shell went on to say that once theaters reopen in the future, they plan on releasing their movies theatrically and via video-on-demand simultaneously. AMC finds this unacceptable. And I don't imagine other theater chains will like that idea either, but it remains to be seen how they will handle it.
  18. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Should really take better care of himself

    It's known as "day and date" and the theater chains have always viewed it as an existential threat. And the movie studios have all the ways used films with an uncertain audience as sacrificial victims - like the Linda Ronstadt film The Pirates of Penzance. Vickie and I saw that in the one theater it played in Kansas City for one week. As soon as it was announced as day and date, all the advertising disappeared, and it was played at the contractual minimum number of theaters.

    It's the same old, same old. The movie theaters need a window of exclusivity, and the movie studios want to make a pile of money as quickly as possible.

    PS: Was anybody over the age of six excited about Trolls World Tour? I was excited about it opening simply so I never have to see the trailer for it in the theater ever again.
    SandAndGlass and unclefred like this.
  19. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    I’m not an A-Lister (yet), but they’re still my movie chain of choice. :righton:
  20. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Syracuse, NY USA
    I didn't see them complain when Disney released all those Lion King and Alladin sequels direct to video.
    MoonPool and BeatleJWOL like this.
  21. gitters

    gitters Forum Resident

    Haha, I don't think I've actually seen a movie from Universal pictures in the theater for over twenty years! As for AMC, I don't believe that there are any AMC theaters anywhere near me. Everything in my area is "Showplace Cinemas"
  22. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    That's a different subject. There are plenty of projects that were always intended to be straight-to-video - the ones you mentioned weren't planned to be on theater screens.

    AMC is unhappy because Uni apparently plans to put out movies in theaters and on video at the same time, thus eliminating the "theatrical window" of exclusivity.

    And I can't blame them. I get why Uni went straight to video for "Trolls", but if they want to eliminate the theatrical window for everything, that's catastrophic for theaters...
  23. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Yeah, the AMC hate surprises me, too - and a public desire for any theater chain to fail makes no sense to me. Even if AMC suffered from poor management, their downfall would have massive ripple effects and damage the industry as a whole.

    Like you, I love A-List, so from a personal perspective, I'd mourn the loss of AMC because of that. (Though I'd just jump to Regal in that case.)

    But even without my attachment to AMC, I wouldn't want them to go extinct. Less choice for moviegoers isn't a good thing...
  24. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    I don't really get your point. Perhaps no one says "yay - a movie from Universal!", but people do look forward to their offerings. If you live somewhere that only has AMC and you can't see the newest Uni film you're dying to watch, you'll be upset.

    Also, as Chris and I noted, we're loyal to AMC partly due to their A-List program. I don't go exclusively to AMC because their theaters are special in some way others aren't - though I do like the fact they have Coke Freestyle machines - but there are other reasons we're loyal. I was a firm AMC guy before A-List, too.

    No one goes "wow - a Shell gas station - awesome!" or "Walgreens??? OMG!!!" either but that doesn't mean people aren't loyal to those businesses...
  25. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    Can't read the full story due to paywall, so maybe it's made clear there, but the statement from Shell seems up for interpretation.

    I'd initially heard it as Uni would put out movies theatrical/video day/date - so if you want to watch "Fast and Furious 9" on release date next year, you could do so in a theater or at home.

    But the statement in the quoted blurb makes that less clear. Does Shell actually plan to do the dual theatrical/video release or is he just saying Uni might bypass the theatrical run for some movies?

    Which they already do - straight to video movies have been around for decades.

    Maybe Uni plans more straight to video projects, and they'll abandon theatrical for some movies that previously would've gotten a theatrical run? :confused:

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