Global  

What's Happening to Universal Movies - Are They Banned at the Cinema?

One News Page Staff Monday, 4 May 2020
What's Happening to Universal Movies - Are They Banned at the Cinema?by 👨‍💻 Graham Pierrepoint

Recently, we shared news with you that, as a result of lockdown conditions during the COVID-19 crisis, it seems that some movie studios are considering moving their film releases to video on demand at home ahead of physically heading to the cinema. In light of people being unable to head to their nearest cinemas to see movies for the foreseeable future, it’s a move that makes sense from a practical perspective.

However, from a money-making perspective, it is something different entirely. Trends were recently bucked with the early release of animated sequel Trolls World Tour (see our review here), which has gone on to break all manner of records. That, at least, shows that there is a taste to see movies at home early, even if COVID-19 is facilitating that trend for the time being. Universal, therefore, have indicated recently that they will continue to push their movies to both physical cinemas as well as at-home video on demand services.

This, unfortunately, has left a bad taste in the mouths of some cinema operators. Despite Universal opting to share its future filmic content both at home as well as in cinemas, it seems that the news has rubbed industry leaders up the wrong way.

News has emerged this week that AMC Theatres and Cineworld will be blocking releases from the studio as a result of their decision to dual-release pictures moving forwards. In the UK, this means that both Odeon and Cineworld – the two biggest movie theatre brands nationwide – will no longer be hosting movies from the studio in any shape or form. This means that, potentially, fans of the Fast and Furious and Minions franchises will either have to head to a smaller chain of cinemas, or will instead be able to watch such films at home.

It’s an interesting twist in the tale. In our previous look at this phenomenon, we considered whether or not the trend for releasing movies early at home would persist. However, this has now been thrown into jeopardy as it seems that big cinemas are keen to show where they stand. Of course, it’s clear that should a studio release movies at home as well as in cinemas, many will choose to simply stay home. This could result in a loss of revenue for big cinema chains.

Despite the fact that Trolls World Tour has so far made in excess of $100 million at home, it seems that Universal will be feeling the pinch from curtailment of physical distribution for some time to come. Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, previously advised that his company would continue to dispatch movies to both cinemas and to home on demand services.

Shell, however, hasn’t changed his position following the reaction from big cinema chains. “The question is, when we come out of this, what is going to be model?” he stated to Variety. “I would expect that consumers will return to theatres and we will be part of that.”

“I would also expect PVOD is going to be a part of that offering in some way. It’s not going to be a replacement, but it will be a complementary element and we’re just going to have to see how long that takes, and where it takes us.”

However, Cineworld’s argument on such matters is just as clear-cut. “We invest heavily in our cinemas across the globe and this allows us the movie studios to provide customers all around the world to watch the movies in the best experience. There is no argument that the big screen is the best way to watch a movie.”

“Universal unilaterally chose to break our understanding,” the statement continues, “and did so at the height of the COVID-19 crisis when our business is closed, more than 35,000 employees are at home, and when we do not yet have a clear date for the reopening of our cinemas.”

Therefore, the whole saga just got a little more complex. We are now potentially looking at a raft of major films – those from the Jurassic World series, for example – disappearing from the majority of big cinemas. It is not especially clear if the cinema chains in question will backtrack on their decision, nor if NBCUniversal will follow suit.

In the meantime, it seems that we can reasonably expect there to at least be a choice when it comes to video on demand and in-cinema releases in future. Which option is likely to bring in the most interest in months and years to come? Will it be a trend which weathers on past the COVID-19 crisis? It’s far too early to say. However, what will be interesting to see is whether or not other studios dare follow suit, given the clear stance some of the biggest in-cinema chains are taking.

10
shares
ShareTweetSavePostSend
 

You Might Like


💡 One News Page Knowledge: Other News Mentions

Universal Pictures Universal Pictures American film studio

California releases new guidelines for theme park reopenings

Theme parks like Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood will have to wait until their counties reach the least restrictive "yellow" tier, according to the..
CBS News

Disneyland and other theme parks face strict reopening guidelines

Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood will have to wait until their counties reach the least restrictive yellow tier before they can reopen with limited..
CBS News

When will Disneyland, Universal Studios be able to reopen? Theme park guidelines expected Tuesday

California Gov. Gavin Newsom hinted there may be different reopening rules for different sized theme parks.

USATODAY.com

Coronavirus disease 2019 Coronavirus disease 2019 Infectious respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

Poland's president tests positive for COVID-19

The president on Saturday said he is feeling "very well at the moment."
CBS News

China's aggression and Covid solutions to dominate US-India 2+2 talks

Security and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in the face of China's aggressive behavior and public health collaboration with an eye on the ongoing..
IndiaTimes

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner threaten lawsuit over COVID billboards

One billboard shows Trump smiling and gesturing to coronavirus death numbers in the U.S. Another features Kushner next to body bags and a quote he reportedly..
CBS News

Covid-19: Church leaders' warning over northern rules

Senior bishops say struggles between the government and northern leaders will lead to "unrest".
BBC News

Coronavirus updates: Feared surge is underway; masks can still save 63K lives; Trump missing from task force meetings, Fauci says

A long-predicted surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths has begun in the United States, but Americans aren't changing their behaviors. Latest COVID news.

USATODAY.com

AMC Theatres AMC Theatres US-based movie theater chain in the US and Europe

AMC offers private theater rentals for as little as $99

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

The USA’s largest cinema chain AMC is making its screens available for private hire, allowing groups of up to 20..

The Verge
AMC Warns Investors It Could Run Out of Cash by End of 2020 [Video]

AMC Warns Investors It Could Run Out of Cash by End of 2020

AMC shares sank nearly eight percent in response to the news, The percentage is equal to nearly half a billion dollars.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 00:54Published
AMC CEO flags possible equity raise [Video]

AMC CEO flags possible equity raise

AMC Entertainment may need to raise additional capital either entirely or mostly through equity, its CEO told Reuters , as the cinema operator grapples with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Fred Katayama reports.

Credit: Reuters Studio    Duration: 01:25Published
AMC Theatres Says 'Existing Cash Resources' to Be Depleted by End of 2020 or Early 2021 | THR News [Video]

AMC Theatres Says 'Existing Cash Resources' to Be Depleted by End of 2020 or Early 2021 | THR News

Movie theater giant AMC Theatres said on Tuesday that its "existing cash resources would be largely depleted by the end of 2020 or early 2021" if current trends persist.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:14Published

Cineworld Cineworld cinema chain

Regal Owner Cineworld Temporarily Suspending Operations in U.S., U.K. | THR News [Video]

Regal Owner Cineworld Temporarily Suspending Operations in U.S., U.K. | THR News

Cinema giant Cineworld — the second largest global exhibitor behind AMC — early Monday morning London time confirmed that it is temporarily suspending its operation in the U.S. and U.K.

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter    Duration: 01:50Published
Regal Cinemas Is Closing in the US and UK [Video]

Regal Cinemas Is Closing in the US and UK

Parent company Cineworld announced that 536 Regal theatres will be closed as of October 8th.

Credit: Cover Video STUDIO    Duration: 01:00Published
Are we facing the end of cinema? [Video]

Are we facing the end of cinema?

Cineworld has announced plans to temporarily shut the doors of all its UK andUS theatres. The move will affect up to 45,000 employees. Here are some of thereasons behind the temporary closure.

Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO    Duration: 01:35Published
Movie fans react to Cineworld closures [Video]

Movie fans react to Cineworld closures

Cineworld said up to 45,000 employees will be affected worldwide as itconfirmed plans to temporarily close its theatres in the UK and the US – thecinema giant’s two biggest markets. More than 600 sites will be closed acrossthe two countries from Thursday after the industry was rocked by plans byJames Bond studios MGM and Universal to delay the release of the franchise’slatest film. Cineworld said it would close 127 Cineworld and Picturehousesites in the UK, confirming reports over the weekend, and sending shares downby as much as 57% as markets opened in London.

Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO    Duration: 01:23Published

Tweets about this

AayushS33391137

Aayush Sharma RT @TOIIndiaNews: Covid cases top 75 lakh as slowdown continues https://t.co/6L7gPb0DTZ 4 hours ago

TOIIndiaNews

TOI India Covid cases top 75 lakh as slowdown continues https://t.co/6L7gPb0DTZ 4 hours ago

•More original news reports from One News Page