AMC and Odeon are not pleased with Universal Pictures. Trolls World Tour made a killing with a home release during the COVID-19 lockdown, raking in more than $100 million so far. Universal is considering simultaneous releases split between movie theatres and on-demand video services.
Both AMC and Odeon have both since refused to show Universal Pictures films in their locations. Not only is this a bafflingly idiotic response, but it’s probably only going to hasten the death of movie theaters as we know them.
While AMC and Odeon’s concern is valid, their chosen response is not wise. The idea that films could be going directly to home box offices from now on is quite threatening. But, if history has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t beat change by trying to kill it.
Netflix was the nail in the coffin that killed Blockbuster. If movie theater companies want to survive, they need to evolve. Investing and working to gain a foothold in the new direction that the industry is taking is a much better plan.
What is not a great plan is cutting a huge ticket seller while you’re struggling to make ends meet. Universal Pictures is one of the big eight golden age studios. If you want to have a profitable theatre, you can’t afford to stop showing their films.
It all wouldn’t be so laughable if AMC weren’t doing so poorly. They just had to get themselves into $500 million of debt with investors to stay afloat. Yet they think they’re strong enough right now to pull a power move like refusing Universal Pictures?
Mark my words, in the future movie theaters will be niche venues. Places that only enthusiasts go for special screenings. The day-to-day business of watching new releases will start to happen from home more and more. With 4K resolution and infinite choice, how could cinemas compete?
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