May 12, 2020
After Universal Pictures set off an industry firestorm announcing it would pursue simultaneous theatrical/PVOD distribution for new movies, the CFO of Warner Bros. parent AT&T told an investor event the studio is sticking with the 90-day theatrical window for now.
Speaking online May 12 on the virtual MoffettNathanson 7th Annual Media & Communications Summit, John Stephens sought to quell any notion Warner Bros. would upend industry norms as the movie theaters remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
That said, the studio on May 15 will launch its first skipped theatrical/PVOD release with Scoob!. The movie becomes the second major animated family film after Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour to bypass theatrical release in favor of digital release. Trolls World Tour reportedly generated $100 million through VOD, the digital equivalent of rental. Scoob! will be available either as a digital rental or purchase.
“We’ll learn from [Scoob!],” Stephens said. “We’re interested in new ideas, whatever’s good for consumers, but we’ll continue to work with our [exhibition] partners.”
Major exhibitors such as AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas have vowed not to screen any theatrical movie concurrently available to digital channels at launch.