Universal Strikes Deal with Cinemark For a Shorter Theatrical Window on Some Films

Cinemark Theaters has agreed to a proposal from NBCUniversal to allow movies to be released on VOD early, contingent on the film’s box office performance. The new agreement stipulates that movies that earn more than $50 million during opening weekend will have to remain in theaters for at least 31 days including five weekends, while titles that make less than that can head to digital after just 17 days.

“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 Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Donna Langley, who also orchestrated the studio’s historic deal with AMC. “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.”

This news comes shortly since news that AMC Theaters agreed to a similar deal with NBCUniversal after the theater initially boycotted Universal films over the Trolls World Tour debacle. Now, the new deal currently covers AMC’s US theaters and requires Universal’s films to play in theaters for 17 days, including three weekends. Typically, films that premiere in theaters aren’t made available elsewhere for a few months, but 2020 has been anything but typical.

But now inside sources are saying the new terms Cinemark has agreed to will also apply to AMC theaters as well.