If the experiment works, it may increase the chances of similar window-shortening deals between studios and theaters
With “No Time to Die” and “Dune” abandoning their 2020 release dates and Regal Cinemas closing their locations again, the outlook for the theatrical market is looking increasingly bleak. But DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods: A New Age” might press forward and give AMC Theatres and Universal a chance to test a tightened window between theatrical and at-home release.
This past summer, a simmering conflict between Universal and the nation’s largest chain led the two sides to try something the film industry has never tried before: shorten the exclusive theatrical window to three weekends, after which Universal has the option to release its films on premium video on-demand. As part of this deal, Universal must give advance notice when they choose to exercise the early PVOD option, and AMC will receive a share of the profits on those PVOD sales.