Universal Inks Theatrical/PVOD Deal With Canada’s Cineplex Cinemas

Following landmark shortened theatrical window/PVOD distribution deals with AMC Theatres and Cinemark, Universal Pictures has ironed out a similar agreement with Canada’s largest exhibitor: Cineplex Cinemas.

Under the deal, Universal and subsidiary Focus Features have the right to offer consumers PVOD access to new release movies with less than $50 million in domestic opening weekend ticket sales after their box office debut. Movies with a higher box office can be released on PVOD 31 days after their theatrical bow. The studio and Cineplex will split PVOD revenue.

“The pandemic has given the industry and movie-lovers around the globe a new appreciation for the magic of the big screen experience,” Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob said in a statement. “We are pleased to work alongside like-minded partners such as Universal, a studio that respects the theatrical window and is committed to the sustainable long-term health of the theatrical ecosystem.”

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Unlike other studios, Universal has a strong slate of titles through the end of the year, including The Croods: A New Age on Nov. 25; Half Brothers and All My Life on Dec. 4; and News of the World and Promising Young Woman on Dec. 25.

“With audience fragmentation accelerating due to the rise in digital, streaming and cord-cutting, as well as the unprecedented issues our industry is facing right now, our relationship with exhibition had to evolve and adapt to the changing distribution landscape,” said Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “Giving consumers the flexibility to view content on their terms is more important than ever to help expand moviegoing, and Ellis and our partners at Cineplex allow us to increase these opportunities for our Canadian audience.”

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