AMC Refuses To Work With Universal Pictures

AMC  are now boycotting against a major Hollywood studio. The movie theater chain  is refusing  to show any Universal Picture films, arguing that the studio is “breaking the business model” that has sustained the companies for decades. 

Root of the problem

Universal Pictures recently released “Trolls World Tour” on video-on-demand on Apr. 10th, a film that would have been offered to AMC  to be shown in their theaters if they were allowed to open, but due to COVID-19 remain closed

AMC CEO Adam Aron claimed Universal broke a longstanding agreement to give cinemas exclusive access to new movies before they’re made available on other distribution channels — a concept known as the theatrical window.

In an open letter to Universal Studios Chairwoman Donna Langley, the theater chain said the ban was in reaction to the film company vowing to make more films available online the same day they’re released in theaters. The letter also read that action would be effective immediately and will no longer play any Universal movies at any AMC  theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East, adding that the policy is “not some hollow or ill-considered threat.”

Adam Aron, CEO and chairman of AMC, also stated that the theater chain isn’t trying to punish Universal, but will apply the ban to any movie maker who “unilaterally abandons current windowing practices absent good faith negotiations between us, so that they as distributor and we as exhibitor both benefit and neither are hurt from such changes.”

Universal regrets nothing

Universal Pictures said in response to the AMC letter that it “absolutely” believes in the theatrical experience.

A Universal spokesperson said in a statement, “Our goal in releasing ‘Trolls: World Tour’ on demand was to deliver entertainment to people who are sheltering at home, while movie theatres and other forms of outside entertainment are unavailable.” They went on to say that they don’t regret the decision, “Based on the enthusiastic response to the film, we believe we made the right move.” 

This response knocked at AMC and the theater association for misinterpreting its remarks and making it public. NATO said it had no involvement with the AMC letter, nor knowledge of it “before reading about it in the press.” after Universal Studios said, “We look forward to having additional private conversations with our exhibition partners,” then continued, “but are disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt from AMC and NATO to confuse our position and our actions.”

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