Universal, Cinemark Shrink Theatrical Window

Universal Pictures and Cinemark Entertainment have inked a deal that enables the studio to release its movies into the PVOD home entertainment channel from 17-31 days after their Cinemark, Century Theatres, Rave Cinemas, Tinseltown and CineArts debut. Cinemark operates 533 theaters and 5,974 screens in the U.S. and Latin America.

Under the agreement, any Universal movie that does better than $50 million at the domestic box office can be made available on PVOD 31 days after its domestic box office debut. Other Universal titles from DreamWorks Animation and Focus Features can be streamed into the home 17 days after their theatrical bow.

The shortened window comes as exhibitors contend with government-mandated shutdowns, distanced seating and other restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Universal this spring reported generating more than $100 million in PVOD with erstwhile theatrical release Trolls World Tour. Other PVOD releases includes The King of Staten Island and the upcoming Freaky.

That 17-day window is similar to the landmark agreement over the summer between Universal and AMC Entertainment. As with that deal, Cinemark is expected to share in the PVOD revenue with Universal.

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“We believe a more dynamic theatrical window, whereby movie theaters continue to provide an event-sized launching platform for films that maximize box office and bolsters the success of subsequent distribution channels, is in the shared best interests of studios, exhibitors and more importantly, moviegoers,” Mark Zoradi, CEO of Cinemark, said in a statement.

Universal Filmed Group Chairman Donna Langley said the PVOD deal does not take away from the studio’s long history with theatrical distribution.

“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,” Langley said.

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