Universal will also be able to control whether a film plays in theaters longer than 17 days, meaning it can choose to keep movies like Fast and Furious and Jurassic World in theaters for longer if need be.
Every Delayed Movie Due to Coronavirus (So Far)
“The partnership we’ve forged with AMC is driven by our collective desire to ensure a thriving future for the film distribution ecosystem and to meet consumer demand with flexibility and optionality,” says Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley in a statement.
AMC and Universal previously were in a dispute just a few months ago. The theater chain announced it would no longer show Universal Pictures releases in cinemas after Universal released the animated film Trolls World Tour on VOD while theaters were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This new agreement overturns AMC’s decision.
Theaters have been left particularly vulnerable to the pandemic as social distancing rules become the norm. Highly anticipated films like Tenet have been delayed repeatedly, and will now premiere first in international theaters where Covid curves have been flattened, before premiering in the U.S. This deal has potentially seismic implications for other movie distributors as the film industry continues to find a way forward during the pandemic.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.