Universal, Cinemark Strike Historic Deal Shrinking Theatrical Window for Event Pics to 31 Days
Universal has struck a history-making deal with Cinemark Entertainment that will dramatically shorten the theatrical…
The shoes keep dropping in the standoff between the studios and theater chains. But the latest is interesting in that it’s directly tied to box office success. Here’s Pamela McClintock:
Under the terms of the multiyear pact, a Universal movie opening to $50 million or more at the domestic box office can be made available in the home via premium VOD beginning 31 days after it opens on the big screen. (The window doesn’t apply to regular on-demand or streaming, and is PVOD only.)
Cinemark, the country’s third-largest chain, is OK with all other Universal, DreamWorks Animation and Focus Features movies being made available on PVOD after 17 days, similar to the history-making arrangement Universal struck with AMC Entertainment in late July.
This essentially means that for all but the summer (and a few holiday) blockbuster movies, the window will now be 17 days. For the blockbusters, it’s 31 days. This makes sense since most movies only make money their first few weeks at the box office and that money is only actually meaningful in those later weeks if it’s a blockbuster movie.
No word on if Universal also has to give some of the PVOD cut to Cinemark as they do to AMC. One would presume so, but maybe not in exchange for this blockbuster trade-off. The next shoe would be for another studio to cut a similar deal with one of the theater chains. Or to buy one of them.