Trolls World Tour didn’t just stun the world by making $100 million in the first 3 weeks that it was available on demand but it also shocked Universal Pictures as well. With the Coronavirus pandemic, all movie theaters around the country have been shut down and that means any movie that has a release date anytime after mid-March into the foreseeable future has only a couple options.
They can either move the release date or release the movie on demand! Universal chose the latter and it worked! They released it on time and charged $20.00 to view it.
Here is where it pays off. When you go to see a family movie with 4 people it will cost you at minimum $20.00 at the door. Add buying popcorn, drinks, and candy and you are over $40. So it really is a deal for families and the production company! Universal is so happy they are thinking about releasing all movies on demand and in theaters!
Here is where the problem lies movie theaters will lose money and possibly lots of it. Even when this pandemic ends people may still be cautious about going out especially with children. Thus, watching movies at home may become the norm. Of course, some people still will want date nights at theaters or birthday movies with the kiddos but that doesn’t equate to enough money for the business to sustain their overhead.
AMC is furious with Universal for releasing Trolls 2 on demand and said “It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s (Jeff Shell, CEO) comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice,” Aron (Adam Aron, CEO) said. “Therefore, effective immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theatres in the United States, Europe, or the Middle East.”
He added that AMC would be willing to sit down with Universal to discuss mutually beneficial strategies. AMC has more than 1,000 theaters worldwide. Aron followed up by saying,
“AMC believes that with this proposed action to go to the home and theatres simultaneously, Universal is breaking the business model and dealings between our two companies.”
What this means for AMC is losing a lot of revenue off Universal who releases a lot of big movies every year. Upcoming Universal releases include “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” which are both due out summer 2021. Two Tom Hanks movies “Bios” and “News of the World” are scheduled for release during the second half of 2020. Not to mention the biggest release of all in 2021 Fast 9!
In a statement to CNBC, Universal said it hopes to have “private conversations” with AMC but admitted its disappointment with the theater’s decision.
“Our desire has always been to efficiently deliver entertainment to as wide an audience as possible,” Universal stated. “We absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and have made no statement to the contrary. As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theatres, as well as on PVOD when that distribution outlet makes sense.”
At the end of the day I’m sure Universal and AMC will work something out but hopefully Universal continues to released their new movies on demand.