It was framed as an eccentric event, and the owners of the theater, desperate to fill the screen with engaging material, happily agreed to it. AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron said that given that unusual economic relationships between studios and theaters, and atypical windows and release strategies, AMC is fully onboard with Warner Bros.’s announcement today.
He had little reception for a full year of practice, which gives no additional encouragement to theaters.
“Clearly, WarnerMedia’s intention is to sacrifice a large portion of the profitability of its film studio division – and for its production partners and filmmakers – to subsidize its HBO Max start-up,” Mr. Aaron said in a Said in the email. “As AMC, we will do all in our power to ensure that Warner does not do this at our expense. We have already started an immediate and urgent dialogue on this subject under Warner’s leadership. ‘
Another major theater series, Cinemark, indicated that it was caught by surprise. “In light of the current operating environment, we are making near-term booking decisions on a film-by-film basis,” said a Cinemark spokesperson. “At this time, Warner Bros. has not provided any details for the hybrid distribution model of its 2021 films.”
Warner Bros. plans are in an opposite position to that adopted by Universal Pictures, which has agreed to continue theaters with a special playing period of at least three weeks. Is universal Signed transaction AMC, along with Cinemark and Canada’s top exhibitor Cineplex, will allow films to bend in theaters for at least 17 days before going on premium video-on-demand. Theater chains will each receive revenue cuts from PVOD sales.
Ms. Sarnoff said in her statement that Warner Bros. “is extremely grateful to our filmmaking partners for working with us on this innovative response to these circumstances.” This was news for many of the company’s partners, including Legendary Pictures, the production company behind “Godzilla vs. Kang”. Legendary and other producers were not consulted and only informed at the last minute (if at all), resulting in raging phones in the back of the phone in a day.
Mr. Killer said that filmmakers should be encouraged in this new way of releasing films.
“I have a lot of faith in the theatrical model, and I have a lot of confidence in the membership model,” Mr. Killer said. “In many ways, you can see a future where budgets and ambitions keep growing because what you use more conveniently is used more often.”