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Cinemark and Universal Reach Deal to Give 17-Day Theatrical Window to Some Films

Fern Siegel

In July, AMC Theatres struck a deal with Universal to shorten the theatrical window to 17 days before a PVOD release.

Now, Universal has signed a similar arrangement with Cinemark.

It breaks down this way: Cinemark gets a 31-day theatrical window on Universal and Focus titles that return more than $50 million to the box office opening weekend and a 17-day window on films drawing under $50 million.

Given the current state of theaters and fears of a new national shutdown, the latter stipulation is more realistic.

The movies include “Freaky,” “Let Him Go,” “Come Play,” “Half Brothers,” “News of the World” and the animated “The Croods 2.” The latter opens Nov. 25, but is expected on VOD before Christmas.

Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said the move doesn’t drastically change its approach to distribution and that such discussions were held before the pandemic hit. Studios want as many revenue options as possible. Donna Langley, Chairman, UFEG, stated the company is still committed to the big-screen experience.

In addition, anything that boosts the box office has traditionally been a plus for VOD airings.

The most successful PVOD streaming story was Universal’s “Trolls World Tour.” The film reportedly earned $100 million in PVOD rentals in its first few streaming weeks.

For other films that have also skipped theaters, such as Orion’s “Bill and Ted Face The Music,” WarnerMedia’s “Scoob!” and Disney’s “Mulan,” studios have been tight-lipped about performance.