The final nails in the movie theater coffin might come striking soon. AMC Theaters have announced they will no longer screen Universal movies after the success of Trolls World Tour.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, movie studios have shifted to putting films out for audiences to watch at home. A conversation was beginning to brew on if the video-on-demand shift would be successful or not.
From most accounts, it seems to have worked out. Universal revealed Trolls World Tour made an estimated $100 million in premium video-on-demand rentals in its first three weeks.
While it is amazing that the film has done so well given the quick shift to video-on-demand, there are some caveats for that success. Trolls is a trendy brand that probably would have done well regardless, and with families at home with nothing to do, it makes sense that many would purchase a rental.
However, this type of success does create the beginnings of studios shifted from solely theater-based distribution to more video-on-demand.
AMC Theaters Upset With Comments Made by NBCUniversal CEO On Success of Trolls World Tour
The tensions between Universal and AMC began after NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell’s comments regarding the success of the children’s film. Shell said that the results of Trolls World Tour exceeded their expectations and that they hope to put movies out in theaters and through video-on-demand in the future.
AMC Theaters, in response, said they were disappointed in the comments made by Shell. They also made clear that they will no longer screen any Universal Movies in their theaters.
This includes theaters in the United States, Europe, or the Middle East. AMC is one of the largest chains of movie theaters in the world.
Universal said that the comments were misunderstood but still hopes to see video-on-demand as a viable option for audiences.
Whether AMC sticks with this ban will be interesting to see. Universal is set to release the next movies in the Halloween and Fast and Furious franchises, which have both made hundreds of millions of dollars.