Movies | July 29, 2020 11:42 am

Universal and AMC Reach Deal to Shorten Theatrical Window for New Movies

Soon you'll be able to rent a movie on-demand just 17 days after it hits theaters

AMC Theater entrance
An AMC theater in Times Square.
Erin Lefevre/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After banning Universal Pictures movies from its theaters back in April, AMC Theatres and the studio have come to an agreement that will allow movies to be released for home viewing on-demand just three weeks after coming out on the big screen.

The new deal, which was announced on Tuesday, gives Universal the right to release its movies through premium video-on-demand just 17 days after they’re released in AMC theaters — a major decrease from the industry standard of 90 days.

“The theatrical experience continues to be the cornerstone of our business,” Donna Langley, chairman of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, said in a statement. “The partnership we’ve forged with AMC is driven by our collective desire to ensure a thriving future for the film distribution ecosystem and to meet consumer demand with flexibility and optionality.”

There’s no word yet on when the new agreement will take effect, because AMC theaters nationwide remain closed due to the pandemic, slated for a tentative “mid-to-late August” reopening. But AMC CEO Adam Aron still seems optimistic that the deal won’t impact how many people show up to see movies in theaters instead of the comfort of their own homes.

“AMC enthusiastically embraces this new industry model,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “Just as restaurants have thrived even though every home has a kitchen, AMC is highly confident that moviegoers will come to our theaters in huge numbers in a post-pandemic world.”

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