AMC Theatres On Demand Utilizing Whip Media Platform

Software platform and data provider Whip Media Aug. 25 announced that AMC Theatres is using Whip Media’s solution for its video on demand business, AMC Theatres On Demand.

AMC Theatres On Demand offers more than 5,000 movies from every major studio and independent film distributors, available for purchase or rent.

Using Whip Media’s platform, AMC Theatres manages the end-to-end process from content management to paying studios. Whip Media drives film selection, asset ordering, pricing and merchandising, and calculating license fees due to studios and device partners, according to the company.

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“Utilizing Whip Media’s platform, allows for more collaboration leading to greater efficiencies, thus allowing us to get more value from our content,” said Nikkole Denson-Randolph, VP of content strategy and inclusive programming at AMC Theatres. “The ability to automate our VOD supply chain, and seamlessly connect to our studios and content readiness partners, provides a huge advantage and ability to drive growth in our business.”

“AMC is a true innovator in the industry for providing a premier movie-watching experience to viewers in the theater or at home,” said Carol Hanley, president of Whip Media. “We’re thrilled to have partnered with AMC to power AMC Theatres on Demand for their millions of customers and provide an infrastructure that is efficient and scalable.”

Verizon Offering Free 12 Months to AMC+ Streaming Service

Verizon’s portfolio of free subscription streaming services offered to new phone, wireless and broadband subs has a new member. Starting Aug. 12, new Fios customers at all speeds, or customers with select Verizon Unlimited plans, can receive up to 12 months of AMC+, the platform featuring content from AMC Network, Shudder, Sundance Now, IFC Films Unlimited, including early access to episodes of the final season of “The Walking Dead,” beginning Aug. 15.

Verizon made headlines in 2019 when it offered its customers free 12 months to upstart streaming service Disney+, a strategy that helped the Disney SVOD jumpstart subscription. The promotion also includes Hulu and ESPN+. Separately, Verizon offers six free months access to Apple TV+.

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“Enhancing the way that fans enjoy their beloved content is at the center of what we do at Verizon,” said Erin McPherson, head of content partnerships at Verizon.

Eligible Verizon customers will be able to stream the final season of “The Walking Dead” premiere one week before it appears on television.

“Over the last year, we have seen tremendous interest in AMC+ from consumers and our distribution partners, and the launch of this new partnership with Verizon couldn’t be better timed,” said Josh Reader, president of distribution and development for AMC Networks.

AMC programming includes “Mad Men,” “Rectify,” “Orphan Black,” “Portlandia,” “Hell on Wheels,” “NOS4A2,” among many others. The service also offers a growing slate of original and exclusive series, including “Gangs of London,” “The North Water,” “The Beast Must Die,” “The Salisbury Poisonings,” “Cold Courage,” “Spy City,” “Too Close” and the forthcoming drama “Kin.”

When activating a new line, a new or existing Verizon customer who purchases a 5G phone with a device payment plan on a Play More, Do More, or Get More Unlimited plan gets 12 months of AMC+. Existing customers on Verizon Unlimited plans get six months of free streaming.

When all promotional periods end, subscribers are automatically rolled over into $8.99 monthly subscription plan unless deactivated by the customer.

New Verizon Fios customers who sign up for one of the new Mix & Match on Fios home Internet plans — with no data caps and no annual contracts — get 12 months of AMC+.

Customers who sign up for Fios Gigabit may also be eligible for other perks of Fios, including a free Samsung Chromebook, Verizon Whole-Home Wi-Fi for getting better coverage in more areas of the home, and 2TB of Verizon Cloud storage.

AMC Networks’ $200 Million ‘Walking Dead’ Settlement Includes Future Streaming Rev-Sharing

AMC Networks’ $200 million settlement announced July 16 with former “The Walking Dead” showrunner Frank Darabont and talent agency Creative Artists Agency includes future streaming video revenue-sharing for the series and spin-off show, “Fear the Walking Dead.”

The agreement enables AMC to avoid a scheduled April 4, 2022, trial date that had consolidated two separate breach of contract lawsuits filed by Darabont and CAA against AMC.

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“With regard to the ‘settlement payment,’ the company has taken a charge of approximately $143 million in the quarter ended June 30, in consideration for the extinguishment of plaintiffs’ rights to any compensation in connection with ‘The Walking Dead’ and any related programs and the dismissal of the actions with prejudice, which amount is net of approximately $57 million of ordinary course accrued participations,” AMC disclosed in the regulatory filing.

AMC updated its fiscal 2021 guidance, contending the settlement would effectively negate any free cash flow in the fiscal year.

Darabont adapted “The Walking Dead” for AMC in 2010 based on the comic book series penned by Robert Kirkman. Darabont was fired early in the second season of the burgeoning hit due to conflicts with AMC.

“Walking Dead” would go on to become one of the biggest shows ever on television, DVD/Blu-ray Disc and Netflix, with the original series slated to end following the 11th season, which begins Aug. 22. Multiple spin-off shows will continue thereafter.

First Season of AMC+ Series ‘Gangs of London’ Heading to Disc July 20

RLJE Films, a division of AMC Networks, will release Gangs of London: Season One on Blu-ray Disc and DVD July 20.

The season originally aired on AMC+, a premium streaming bundle.

Gangs of London: Season One is directed by Gareth Evans (The Raid), Corrin Hardy (The Nun), and Xavier Gens (Hitman). The series stars Joe Cole (“Peaky Blinders”), Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù (“Humans”), Colm Meaney (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”), Lucian Msamati (“His Dark Materials”), Michelle Fairley (“Game of Thrones”), Paapa Essiedu and Pippa Bennett. “Gangs of London” was created by Evans and his creative partner Matt Flannery.

For 20 years, Finn Wallace (Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London. Billions of pounds flowed through his organization each year. But now he’s dead — and nobody knows who ordered the hit. With rivals everywhere, it’s up to the impulsive Sean Wallace (Cole), with the help of the Dumani family headed by Ed Dumani (Msamati), to take his father’s place. If the situation wasn’t already dangerous enough, Sean’s assumption of power causes ripples in the world of international crime. Perhaps the one man who might be able to help him and be his ally is Elliot Finch (Dìrísù), who up until now, has been one of life’s losers, a lowlife chancer with a mysterious interest in the Wallace family.  But as the wind of fate blows, Elliot finds himself transported to the inner workings of the largest criminal organization in London. It doesn’t end with the Wallaces though, there are shadowy higher powers at play.

Bonus Features on the DVD and Blu-ray include the featurettes “An Inside Look at The World, The Families, The Action, The Power, The Soldier” and “Anatomy of an Action Scene: Pub Fight & Elliot vs Len” featuring commentary from Gareth Evans.

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Season One of ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff ‘World Beyond’ Arrives on Disc June 15

RLJE Films, a business unit of AMC Networks, will release The Walking Dead: World Beyond — Season One on Blu-ray Disc and DVD June 15.

The three-disc sets will include all 10 episodes from the first season of “The Walking Dead” spinoff that focuses on a group of teenagers who represent the first generation to grow up in the apocalypse.

A decade into the fall of civilization, sisters Hope (Alexa Mansour) and Iris Bennett (Aliyah Royale) have grown up inside the walls of one of the few remaining first-world communities. When the sisters receive a message that their father might be in a danger at a research facility 1,000 miles away, they defy their community’s rules and enlist their friends Elton (Nicolas Cantu) and Silas (Hal Cumpston)to embark on a cross-country quest to save him. Leaving their sheltered upbringing behind, these teenagers learn how to fight threats both living and dead as they travel through a beautiful but decaying and dangerous world.

The cast also includes Nico Tortorella, Annet Mahendru and Julia Ormond. The first season originally aired on AMC in 2020.

Extras on the Blu-ray and DVD include the featurettes “A Look at the Series,” “Meet the Characters” and “The Making of Season 1.”

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‘Top Gun’ Flying Back to Theaters for 35th

The Tom Cruise action classic Top Gun will land at more than 150 Dolby Cinemas at AMC across the country for an exclusive one-week engagement beginning May 13.

Newly remastered, the film will be presented with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.

The limited theatrical release is timed to Top Gun Day on May 13, as well as the 35th anniversary of the film, which was originally released on May 16, 1986.

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The film, starring Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards,  is available now on digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, with more than four hours of bonus content, including a featurette that explores the film’s legacy and enduring popularity through interviews with Cruise, producer Jerry Bruckheimer and members of the cast of the new film Top Gun: Maverick.

The story of an elite group of pilots competing to earn the title of “Top Gun” ultimately earned a worldwide box office of more than $350 million.

Shudder’s ‘La Llorona’ to Get Digital Release from RLJE Films

RLJE Films has picked up select rights to La Llorona from Shudder, AMC Networks’ horror movie streaming service.

La Llorona, nominated for Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language, in the Golden Globe Awards and Guatemala’s official entry in the 2021 Oscars for Best International Feature Film, will be released through digital retailers on March 2.

The film blends together the terror of both myth and reality in a modern retelling of the legendary genocidal atrocities against the Mayan community in Guatemala. Following a premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival where the film won Best Film (Venice Days), La Llorona was screened at film festivals around the country, including TIFF, Sundance and BFI. The film has been hailed by critics as a true depiction of Latino culture.

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La Llorona is the third feature film from Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante (Tremors), who co-wrote the film with Lisandro Sánchez. The film stars María Mercedes Coroy (Ixcanul), Margarita Kenéfic (Aro Tolbukhin in the Mind of a Killer), Sabrina de la Hoz (Tremors), and Julio Diaz.

In La Llorona, the retired general Enrique finally faces trial for the genocidal massacre of thousands of Mayans decades ago. As a horde of angry protestors threatens to invade their opulent home, the women of the house — his wife, conflicted daughter, and precocious granddaughter — weigh their responsibility to shield the erratic, senile Enrique against the devastating truths behind being publicly revealed and the increasing sense that a wrathful supernatural force is targeting them for his crimes. Meanwhile, much of the family’s domestic staff flees, leaving only loyal housekeeper Valeriana until a mysterious young indigenous maid arrives.

AMC Announces Private Theater Rentals for as Low as $99

As the pandemic keeps movie theater attendance low, AMC Entertainment has announced the official launch of private theater rentals for as low as $99 for up to 20 people.

The rentals are accessible through an automated booking and purchase system on the AMC website and mobile app. The launch comes four weeks after the initial beta launch of the product, which resulted in 110,000 inquiries around the country, dwarfing the total number of AMC’s private theater rentals in all of 2019 (26,000) by more than four times, according to AMC.

Guests can book a private showing at amctheatres.com/rentals or by updating and using the AMC Theatres mobile app. They select a movie that’s playing in their local theater, the time and date of their requested showtime, confirm and checkout. Rentals must be made at least one day in advance and are subject to availability at the theater.

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New releases, such as Tenet, The War With Grandpa and Freaky, are available starting at $149 plus tax, up to $349 plus tax, depending on location and theater. The rental charge covers the cost of up to 20 tickets, and there is no additional required charge or minimum food and beverage charge as part of the rental. Outside food and drink may not be brought into the screening.

AMC Safe & Clean policies and protocols include mandatory mask wearing and appropriate social distancing within the auditorium. In addition, AMC abides by all state and local directives regarding movie theater operations, and in rare cases, the total allowed guest count may be less than 20 to comply with state and local directives.

“The results and feedback from our guests about AMC Safe & Clean have been overwhelmingly positive, and private theater rentals at AMC provides an additional layer of safety and security to those moviegoers who are looking to see movies with just their family members and friends,” Elizabeth Frank, EVP of worldwide programming and chief content officer, said in a statement. “It’s unprecedented for AMC to receive 110,000 contacts in four weeks about a private theater rental, based only on word of mouth and organic publicity, and we are excited about and appreciative of the interest this has sparked among AMC guests.”

Sci-fi Thriller ‘2067’ Coming to Disc Nov. 17 From RLJE Films

The sci-fi thriller 2067 will come out on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 17 from RLJE Films.

The film stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (X-Men: Apocalypse, Let Me In) and Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood,” “Sacred Lies”).

In the film, by the year 2067 Earth has been ravaged by climate change and humanity is forced to live on artificial oxygen. An illness caused by the synthetic O2 is killing the worlds’ population and the only hope for a cure comes in the form of a message from the future: “Send Ethan Whyte.” Ethan, an underground tunnel worker, is suddenly thrust into a terrifying new world full of unknown danger as he must fight to save the human race.

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Bonus features includes director commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette, including an in-depth look at the story, cast, director, the look of the film, costumes and makeup, the time machine, editing and VFX, and music.

‘Better Call Saul’ Season Five Coming to Disc Nov. 24

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release Better Call Saul: Season Five on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Nov. 24.

In the fifth season of the critically acclaimed “Breaking Bad” prequel, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) begins practicing law under the name Saul Goodman, while Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) begins to question both the direction of her career and her relationship with Jimmy. Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) aids Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) in his war on the cartel, putting Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) in a compromising position with the relentless Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton).

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Extras on the Blu-ray and DVD include cast and crew commentaries on all 10 episodes, a gag reel, Mesa Verde Bank and Trust TV spots, Kim’s ethics training videos, and a “Crystal Balls” featurette. The Blu-ray also offers deleted scenes, looks at “The Ambush” and “The Cannon Roll” from the episode “Bagman,” and the featurettes “Tell Me Again,” “The Effects for This!” and “The Good, The Bags and The Ugly.”