Busted Windows: How AMC-Universal Deal Could Upend the Studio-Theater Business Model

Whether this is a significant change or an industry-upending one depends on how other studios and theaters respond

AMC Theatres and Universal’s new deal allowing films to be released for video on-demand after just 17 days in theaters could not only help both theaters and studios but also completely overhaul the business model the film industry has run on for decades. But that depends on how the rest of Hollywood responds to it — which so far remains unclear.

“In an era of increasing competition from a growing number of streaming options, we continue to believe exhibitors need to evolve and become increasingly flexible with not only the movie-going environment they provide to consumers, but also with the windowing options they provide to studios,” B. Riley FBR analyst Eric Wold wrote in a note to clients. “While this agreement is only between AMC and Universal, we would not be surprised to see other ‘option’ agreements entered into between the remainder of the major studios and the leading exhibition chains — especially as the other exhibitors may be unwilling to keep a film on their screens anyway once it becomes available through PVOD.”

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Jeremy Fuster

Box Office Reporter • jeremy.fuster@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jeremyfuster

Trey Williams

Film Reporter covering the biz • trey.williams@thewrap.com • Twitter: @trey3williams