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Universal’s latest theater deal brings some movies to streaming faster

Movies that earn $50 million during opening will now have 31 days of theatrical exclusivity.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
November 17, 2020
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Cinemark movie theater.
Holly Guerrio via Getty Images

Universal Pictures has forged a partnership with Cinemark to make theatrical exclusivity more realistic in the midst of a pandemic. Back in July, the movie studio struck a similar deal with AMC, which will make films available much earlier through streaming/video-on-demand services. The terms with Cinemark’s are a bit different, though. Their agreement requires 17 days of theatrical exclusivity for all Universal Pictures and Focus Features films like AMC does. However, it also includes the stipulation that any film that earns $50 million or more during its opening weekend will have to be exclusively shown in theatres for 31 days.

According to Variety, the terms for the newer agreement will now also apply to AMC. That means you’ll most likely have to wait a month before you can watch upcoming big releases like Fast & Furious F9 and Jurassic World: Dominion in the comfort of your own home. That said, the studio can keep showing its films in cinemas even after they debut on streaming or VOD services if it wants to in order to maximize their earning potential.

Universal will give AMC and Cinemark a cut of its revenue in the US as part of the partnership. Neither company has revealed the financial details of the deal, but Deadline says 10 percent of VOD revenues on a title will be set aside. AMC and Cinemark will reportedly get 15 percent and 17 percent of that share, respectively. While that information lacks solid numbers, AMC previously said that it’s able to remain open thanks to its partnership with Universal.

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