It’s been mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift in the way studios are releasing their films. While many have shifted their release dates, some studios have used a PVOD release model with successful results.
While theater chains may remain an option for studios, the window films will be in theaters may be shifting. A few months back, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi stated,
“We believe an exclusive theatrical window is critically important. While we have publicly stated we’re willing to have conversations with our studio partners to evolve with them, we are mindful that an overly aggressive shortened theatrical window could have an adverse impact on the mid-to-tail-end of a film’s life.”
Well, things have changed as Universal and Cinemark have reached an agreement that will shorten the theatrical window for all of Universal’s films, even after the pandemic comes to an end. The deal states that any Universal movie that opens to $50 million or more at the domestic box-office will be available via PVOD just 31 days after it premieres on the big screen. All other films that fall under the Universal, Dreamworks Animation, or Focus Features banner will be made available after 17 days.
In a statement, Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said,
“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, most importantly, moviegoers.”
The model for film releases is changing and its just a matter of time before other studios join in.
It’s a new world we live in now with PVOD and streaming being the much more affordable (and in some cases the only) option to view new movies. As theaters look for more ways to remain relevant in a post-COVID world this might at least help a little bit.