Universal Pictures has signed a new deal with AMC Entertainment to reduce what is called “theatrical window,” which is the time it takes for a movie screened in theaters to be released on digital platforms. This will allow new blockbusters to be available on iTunes and the Apple TV app in just 17 days after its premiere in theaters.
The current “theatrical window” determines that films made by Universal screened in AMC theaters can only be released for online rental after 75 days, which is more than two months. With this recent change, Universal will be able to bring its new movies to digital platforms in less than three weeks.
As pointed out by the Wall Street Journal, AMC had previously threatened not to screen any Universal movie in its theaters after the studio released “Trolls World Tour” directly online. However, with most theaters closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, releasing new movies online as soon as possible has become inevitable.
While a standard movie rental costs around $5, Universal is charging $20 to rent their new movies online. This may not sound advantageous to some people, but surely there’s a group of people who will be happy to pay $20 to watch a new movie at home with the whole family.
Even if this decision is related to the current world situation, it’s likely that the relationship between studios and theaters will permanently change. Universal says the company will “continue experimenting with such a strategy.”
Would you be willing to pay to watch a new movie online instead of going to a movie theater, even after the pandemic? Let us know in the comments below.
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