September 23, 2021


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The owners of the individual theaters responded to AMC’s VOD agreement with Universal

5 min read

Jeff Logan, owner of the Logan Luxury Theater, is fighting to end most of the 2020 war. But ticket sales are slow and Logan’s movies aren’t making enough to pay their rent.

Now, he worries that the new deal between Universal Pictures and AMC theaters could reduce the hit ut. Under their agreement, the two companies have agreed to reduce the amount of time new movies from Universal will play exclusively if they are AMC movies before customers rent at home. Logan, like many ma-o-pop theater owners across the country, is concerned that the newborn distribution model has forged into Hollywood’s powerful studios and the world’s largest exhibition chain that could improve their business and feed them down the line.

“It’s a real kick of shorts in independent theaters,” Logan said.

Demonstrators noted that Universal, AMC and the rest of the movie business have a lot to look forward to in terms of how the deal is shaking. Although numerous movie theater owners did not want to speak Diversity For fear of blacklisting big studios, others were significantly more honest in their opinions that Universal was doing something wrong and that AMC and its leader Adam Aaron had betrayed the exhibition industry.

“We’ll all try to be resilient and survive, but it’s tough,” Logan said. “If your local theater closes in a small town or in New York City, blame Adam Aaron. The responsibility is slowly falling on his shoulders. “

Although their footprint is low across the United States, individually owned movies are important to the film world, especially vital in small towns and while AMC operates large theaters in the country – 1,661 locations in the United States – only 8,200 AMCs out of 40,000 screens in the United States. That alone wouldn’t increase ticket sales enough to justify a টের 200 million budget movie at an event that couldn’t play the Universal title in protest of other movie chains.

The Independent Cinema Alliance, advocating for local-owned theaters, expressed concern that the decision was made too hastily during the epidemic. Movie theaters and studios have been hit hard by prolonged movie closures, prompting both sides to take bold steps to maintain revenue.

“As with any crisis, the discussion of industry-transformation during a coronavirus epidemic should be about long-term goals that truly preserve and enhance the drama’s experience and not be driven by panic decisions in search of immediate, short-term protection,” the agency said in a statement. Diversity.

Yet, this group is not resigning to the idea that their business is doomed. They are hopeful that other Hollywood studios will see value in keeping movies on the big screen and will not follow suit. And the agreement between Universal and AMC does not stipulate that each new release from the studio will be transferred to premium video-on-demand within one month; This means they should perform the title below expectations with options. Blockbusters like “Jurassic World” and slipper hits like “Get Out” are not expected to come under quick deadlines. (“Cats” may be a different story).

“The ICA will continue to work with its members and studio partners to help the industry navigate the challenges posed by the global epidemic crisis,” the ICA wrote. “We believe that these efforts will help create a platform for recovery that will create a brighter future for all partners.”

Personally, some theater owners have acknowledged that dramatic change is needed to move any aging industry forward. Even before the epidemic, before the movies hit the shutters, the skeptics claimed that the movie business was going on in smoke. They saw the dominance of Netflix, Disney Plus and other streaming services in the future. This isn’t entirely true (the domestic box office generated more than $ 11 billion in 2019), but the recent gap between hits and misses at the box office proves that listeners feel some movies don’t justify the cost of watching in a theater. And its often the individual exhibitors who feel these downward trends intensely.

The controversy surrounding the drama window has been going on for quite some time. Cinema owners have admitted that they will be acquitted, thinking they will never be forgiven, but many were surprised that the window of the theater was narrowed. Dition Traditionally, movies remain in theaters for up to 90 days on premium video-on-demand platforms before allowing studios to be given a given title. Under Universal’s new layout with AMC, they can drop headlines on demand 17 days after they premiere on the big screen.

This can create complications for local disciplines as they do not always have the space to offer as many large venues. Take summer time, often the busiest time of the year for movies, with countless blockbusters being released over the weekend. At the AMC locations, there are plenty of auditoriums for as many movies as they show. Locally owned activities, however, have low screens and cannot delete movies freely. This can be problematic for them if they continue to make claims before they run a movie for the first time.

“It’s a second run between my two theaters, and I have no idea how it will affect me,” said Mark O’Mayara, who manages two movie theaters in Fairfax. “We always have to wait a week. To get a movie. I may have to go run first.

Does the new terms mean that Universal Movies will be less interested in playing even if every other theater has a place other than AMC? It is possible. But perhaps more than that, many will realize that “Fast and Furious” and “Frustrated Me” are the kind of tentpoles that attract large crowds and generate lots of popcorn sales.

“I have to play some universal movies, I have to pay the bills,” Logan said. “But I will try to avoid them if I can. The business decision is not a matter of policy for me.

Christopher Escobar, owner of the Plaza Theater in Atlanta, predicts that the AMC-Universal deal will create “a big calculation” and could have the potential to actually improve Movig’s experience.

“We need a revolution,” he said.

Escobar is not worried that some movies may be available on-demand soon. In fact, they already often play headlines after offering digital rental services. He regularly brings classics back to the big screen, and even hosts TV events in his theaters. Escobar and other exhibitors, including AMC and major competitors, are banking on the possibility that the new deal will give studios the freedom to place larger movies at greater risk, resulting in a reduction in the number of movies sent directly to streaming services.

“I’m already working differently,” Escobar said. [Major theater chains] Applebee and Olive Gardens. These things are good, but if you only have this as an alternative, it’s no surprise that people go to the movies less. “

Separate theaters to the AMC and the Universal Alliance are part of the reason for such a strong reaction that they are concerned about keeping the lights on. The epidemic has become a non-existent threat to their business and many are hoping to be able to stay open by the end of the year.

“The timing was frustrating from my point of view,” Omiyara said. “We are concerned about many other things, such as survival. We didn’t think about programming until it happened. It came back to reality. ”

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