AMC Theatres CFO: ‘No Consensus’ on PVOD

Rollout of premium video-on-demand (PVOD) this year seems increasingly remote after the CFO of the country’s largest theatrical chain said discussions with studios remain at an impasse.

Speaking Jan. 9 at Citi 2018 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas, AMC Entertainment CFO Craig Ramsey suggested negotiations with studios have cooled regarding shrinking the longstanding 90-day theatrical window.

“[It] is a very complicated matter,” Ramsey said, adding “[PVOD is] not the topic that it was earlier.”

PVOD enables consumers to rent a new release movie in the theatrical window in the home at a premium ($30-$40) price. Exhibitors have balked at previous attempts to encroach upon their exclusive access to new release movies.

In an era of declining theatrical attendance, studios such as Warner Bros. and Fox have pushed for PVOD, arguing both the need to assimilate with changing consumer habits and technology as well as mine higher margin incremental revenue.

AMC CEO Adam Aron has previously said the chain, which operates 1,000 theaters and about 11,000 screens globally, would be amenable to PVOD provided the financial details (i.e. revenue-sharing) were favorable.

But on a fiscal call last August, Aron said ironing out an agreement was wishful thinking.

“I can tell you categorically that no one is close to resolution of this matter,” Aron said.

Separately, Disney, whose Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel-branded movies dominate the box office, has a stated opposition to PVOD.

Ramsey reiterated that there remains “no consensus” on PVOD at the moment.

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