“James Bond”, “Fast And Furious 9”

A deal between the legendary Hollywood studio Universal and the cinema chain AMC, which belongs to the world’s largest cinema empire, is revolutionizing Hollywood. Although it only affects the USA for now, the topic is so big that we can classify it for you.

It made big waves when Universal Pictures, one of the largest Hollywood studios, announced in April 2020 that following the corona-related home cinema success of “Trolls 2”, more films would no longer be exclusively in the cinema, but also as VoD in parallel to publish.

“After the mega success of ‘Trolls 2’: Does the Corona break kill the cinema experience?” We asked in our article at the time – deliberately pointed, but above all with justified concern.

Since then, many cinemas have been boycotting universal publications that appear as VoD at the same time. Tomorrow, July 30, 2020, “The King Of Staten Island” will open in Germany in cinemas and at the same time as VoD, but many movie theaters do not include the film in their programs.

Since then, many cinemas have been boycotting universal publications that appear as VoD at the same time.

But the boycott is now crumbling in the USA – a deal there could revolutionize the exclusive cinema model. Much has been said and written in the last few hours about the fact that universal films will be available faster than VoD in the future.

Because we believe that this agreement could change the cinema landscape permanently, and the studio behind the “Jurassic World” – and the “Fast

17 days and more: That’s the US deal

As the largest American cinema chain AMC and Universal have decided in an agreement that industry magazines call “historic”, Universal films will again be shown on the more than 8,200 AMC screens. Universal undertakes to release these films as VoD at the earliest 17 days after theatrical release and for the first three months only at a premium price (approx. 20 dollars). In addition, AMC receives a share of VoD income.

The reason why the deal is so revolutionary is that it buries the exclusive cinema window in the USA (traditionally 90 days long). 17 days (the number was chosen to have three weekends) is almost nothing.

The reason why the deal is so revolutionary is that it buries the exclusive cinema window in the USA (traditionally 90 days long).

Since two of the largest market participants have signed an agreement with Universal and AMC, a signaling effect is assumed. The pressure on other cinema chains in particular to conclude a similar deal is likely to increase. And even if smaller cinemas continue to boycott Universal films, that should hardly be of any consequence for the Hollywood studio.

It is important, however, that the films do not come out automatically as VoD after 17 days. Universal has the opportunity to independently decide how to proceed with it, so it can wait longer for some films.

It is important, however, that the films do not come out automatically as VoD after 17 days.

The importance of the new deal for Germany

First of all, the deal has no direct impact on Germany. However, the group around the AMC cinemas also includes numerous chains outside the USA – in Germany, for example, the UCI cinemas. Universal, the world’s largest cinema operator through such participations in all possible countries in the world, has already announced that further agreements for Europe will follow shortly.

First of all, the deal has no direct impact on Germany.

Therefore, the UCI cinemas (partly still closed due to Corona) could soon give up the boycott of Universal films that is currently also in Germany. The question is still whether a European deal will have a similarly revolutionary effect in this country.

The question is still whether a European deal will have a similarly revolutionary effect in this country.

You have to know that the UCI cinemas in this country have a smaller market share than the AMC cinemas in the USA (probably around 8 to 10 percent compared to 20 percent) and, for example, are almost completely absent in southern and central Germany. A similar deal by Universal and UCI in Germany is therefore putting significantly less pressure on other cinema chains. Above all, however, German regulations are likely to make such smaller, exclusive rental windows more difficult.

We already pointed out in our article mentioned at FMovies beginning that, for example, the Film Funding Act prescribes blocking periods (which are also significantly longer than the previous 90 days in the USA) and thus guarantees an exclusive theatrical release at least for productions supported by the FFA (which, however, does Most of the Hollywood productions, unless filmed in Germany, are not). The participation of a single cinema chain in the VoD revenues is likely to be legally problematic in this country.

Probably because of such local differences, the agreements will only be concluded gradually and will certainly vary from country to country.

Exciting but dangerous future

It’s too early to say how the deal will change the cinema landscape. To do this, we have to wait and see how the agreement looks for Europe, which other studios and cinema chains in the USA follow suit with similar contracts.

One thing is certain, however: the cinema landscape will change. The exclusive cinema windows will get smaller.

One thing is certain, however: the cinema landscape will change. The exclusive cinema windows will get smaller.

We also suspect: The regulations will become more individual. With some films there will only be very short cinema-exclusive windows, with other films very long.

We also suspect:
The regulations will become more individual. With some films there will only be very short cinema-exclusive windows, with other films very long.

And even if one or the other reader might be happy to see films earlier on the couch at home in the future, this could be another coffin nail for the currently acutely endangered cinemas. After all, exclusivity is an important incentive for going to the cinema.

If too many people then prefer to wait three weeks for a VoD release, the number of cinemas in rural areas could decrease so much that many people no longer have one nearby.

In addition to “The King Of Staten Island” mentioned at the beginning, numerous other Universal films will be released in the next few weeks and months that many cinemas may not show if Universal offers the titles as VoD at the same time as the cinema release.

These include “Irresistible – Irresistible” (August 6), “Ways of Life – The Roads Not Taken” (August 13), “The Photograph” (August 27) and the outstanding “Never Rarely, Sometimes Always” (1 October).

It is also eagerly awaited whether the current German launch date of “James Bond – No Time to Die” will remain on November 12, 2020 and what effect the deal and, above all, the European versions of it will have on this film.