AMC ‘Not Actively Engaged’ in Premium VOD Window Conversations, Says CFO

Craig Ramsey says there’s “less and less conversation”

AMC Entertainment is no longer “actively engaged” in talks with major Hollywood studios about creating a premium VOD window for movies, the company’s CFO Craig Ramsey said.

“There’s less and less conversation about that,” Ramsey said on Tuesday at the Citi Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas. “We’re not actively engaged in conversations for several different reasons. It’s not the topic that it was earlier.”

In September, Ramsey said the exhibitor was talking with studios about some type of new window that would allow film producers to deliver first-run movies to consumers at home sooner — and for a higher price. But a deal was hardly imminent.

“We’re not seeing a lot of movement,” Ramsey said. “We’re still in conversations. I think it would be a stretch to say that we’re actually negotiating around a solution. But we’re still in conversations.”

Previously, CEO and President Adam Aron said the world’s largest movie theater chain was open to participating in a premium video-on-demand service, but only if there’s an arrangement in which the company, majority-owned by Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, is paid appropriately.

The theatrical window system, in which movie theaters have exclusive rights to show a film for a set period of time before it moves to home entertainment, has been under pressure recently as studios look to deliver content straight to consumers sooner, especially with most blockbusters doing the majority of their business within the first couple weeks of release.

PVOD would mean that a theatrical release would become available on home video as early as three weeks after it hit theaters, at a cost between $30 and $40. However, that would mean exhibitors would suffer, so naturally, PVOD talks have surrounded the fact that exhibition want to be appropriately compensated.