Back in April, Odeon owner AMC and Cineworld’s Regal said they would not show Universal Pictures movies in a savage open letter. The cinema chains were responding to Universal’s newly announced business strategy of releasing its movies on-demand simultaneously with – or very close to – cinematic release. Now Odeon have come to an agreement with Universal, significantly reducing the window from 90 to just 17 days.
As it stands this deal between AMC and Universal Pictures only affects the US, but it’s certainly a significant change to the film industry going forward.
The studio decided a shorter window would be better for them from a business perspective, following the rental success of Trolls World Tour on Premium Video On Demand (PVOD).
Despite the deal, Cineworld owner Regal is very much not on board.
According to Deadline, CEO Mooky Greidinger said: “We do not see any business sense in this model.”
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The Cineworld boss continued: “While we don’t know the full details and we are always analysing any move in the industry, we will analyse it.
“People need to be aware that the first big movie from Universal is coming only in six months so there is no pressure here.
“But we clearly see this as a wrong move at the wrong time.
“Clearly we are not changing our policy with regards to showing only movies that are respecting the theatrical window.”
No Time To Die is currently unaffected by the AMC-Universal deal
Regardless of this being Universal’s new strategy, Mooky has previously said that Cineworld will not show movies of any studio “that fail to respect the windows”.
As mentioned, the AMC-Universal deal only affects the US right now, so this shouldn’t make a difference to the new James Bond movie No Time To Die.
Sony distributed the last few Daniel Craig 007 outings internationally, while now it’s Universal who hold the keys to No Time To Die.
And United Artists will distribute the new Bond movie in the US.
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Nevertheless, according to Bond news site MI6 HQ, AMC and Universal are negotiating deals for other territories in the coming weeks.
So it is possible that No Time To Die will be available on-demand only a few weeks after it hits cinemas in November.
Of course, the current UK release date on November 12 is already rumoured to be moving to Summer 2021 as coronavirus cases increase across the US.
According to the same outlet’s sources, such a release for No Time To Die “is now under active consideration by MGM and Universal.”
A VOD streaming only release is totally out of the question, with the studios being prepared to wait another year for a profitable box office if they have to.
Universal already have Fast and Furious 9 set for April 2021, having already been delayed a year. While dinosaur threequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is currently set for June 11, 2021.
However, recent production delays could see the Chris Pratt blockbuster moved to late 2021.
This would mean a June 11, 2021 release date for No Time To Die is certainly a possibility.