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Universal Reaches Agreement With Cinemark Theaters On Shortened Release Windows

November 16, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Universal Pictures Cinemark

Universal Pictures’ plans to shorten its release windows for theatrical releases has expanded, as they’ve reached an agreement with Cinemark Theaters. Universal and Cinemark announced on Monday that they’ve come to a multi-year agreement under which Universal Filmed Entertainment Group films will be shown in Cinemark theaters in the US.

The agreement will include at least three full weekends, or 17 days, of exhibition for all Universal Pictures and Focus Features theatrical releases, after which the studio has the option to make the titles available across premium video on demand (PVOD) platforms. Any film that opens over $50 million or more will play exclusively in theaters for at least five full weekends (31 days) before the title may become available on PVOD.

The deal comes after Universal inked a similar deal in July with AMC Theaters for truncated theatrical releases. While full terms of the deal are not being disclosed, Deadline reports that about 10% of PVOD revenues on each film have been set aside for exhibition and AMC and Cinemark respectively get 15% to 17% of that, which is about 1% – 2% of the total PVOD revenue.

“Universal’s century-long partnership with exhibition is rooted in the theatrical experience, and we are more committed than ever for audiences to experience our movies on the big screen,” said Donna Langley, Chairman, UFEG. “Mark Zoradi and the team at Cinemark have been outstanding partners, and Peter Levinsohn [Vice Chairman & Chief Distribution Officer, UFEG] has done a remarkable job on the studio’s behalf in making deals that give us the confidence to release our movies in the marketplace, keep the content pipeline moving, and provide consumers with the optionality that they are looking for.”

“We are extremely pleased to further enhance our strong partnership with Universal as we evolve the exclusive theatrical window,” said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark CEO. “We believe a more dynamic theatrical window, whereby movie theaters continue to provide an event-sized launching platform for films that maximize box office and bolsters the success of subsequent distribution channels, is in the shared best interests of studios, exhibitors and, most importantly, moviegoers.”

UFEG still has five films remaining on their 2020 schedule in The Croods: A New Age (November 25th), Half Brothers (December 4th), All My Life (December 4th), News of the World (December 25th) and Promising Young Woman (December 25th).