AMC Titanic May Just Have Struck Studio Iceberg – They Will No Longer Play ANY Universal Movies

Trolls World Tour ⭐️⭐️½

Wow.

Before getting to the headline, it’s worth mentioning that Universal’s King of Staten Island is pulling a Trolls World Tour and going straight to VOD, a week earlier than scheduled, on June 12, 2020.

Scratch another off the June theater release schedule. That leaves only one new wide release movie: Fatale as of this writing, to be released in theaters in June. May still has two wide theater releases scheduled, but if no theaters are reopened by next week, we should expect one or both of those to be pushed back, going straight to VOD or purchased by a streaming channel.

Now, back to the mind-numbing news at hand.

The biggest theater chain, AMC, is being universally stupid with Universal over their decision to take Trolls World Tour — successfully (over $100 million made in three weeks outside the theater) — to VOD and saying when theaters reopen they plan to take other titles to both formats simultaneously.

A studio wants to give us a choice. This sounds like what Netflix wanted to do with The Irishman and was prevented from doing so, thanks to the theatrical window elitism. Amazon has run into the same buzzsaw.

Despite my commentary, I really don’t want to see AMC fail — I love the movie theater watching experience — but it’s hard to root for them and their 1,000 theaters if they won’t be showing Fast and Furious 9 in summer 2021. They just helped their competition, however, unless they, too pipe up behind their closed doors and darkened screens and declare they won’t show Universal movies either.

If AT&T/Warner and Disney (which is some 40%+ of the theater box office sales) decide to do the same thing as Universal, it’s game, set, match. AMC won’t have any significant titles to show in their theaters. This sounds very familiar, remember: Florida Landlord Sues AMC for Rent – 7.5 million – Meanwhile, they won’t open until there are “new” movies to show?

Here’s the words, if you want to see them from AMC CEO.

“It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice,” Aron wrote. “Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theatres in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.”

AMC Theaters will no longer play Universal movies after Trolls World Tour fight – The Verge

So, let’s recap what’s going on in AMC fantasy business land right now:

  • They aren’t paying rent at some (many? all?) properties
  • Have a large portion of their workforce laid off
  • Generating very little to no revenue
  • Not opening any of their theaters until there are new movies to show (July 17)
  • Refusing to show one major studio’s movies in the future — if and when they reopen — because they are “left with no other choice” — WTF?

Yes, this is how to run a business, AMC. Not.

Here’s a free piece of advice: stop fighting with your business partners in the media, get your theaters back open when safe to do so, work on building good will with all studios — including Universal, Amazon and Netflix that you have shunned with your elitism — regardless of what anybody says in the media, and my goodness do whatever you can to do the same with us — moviegoers. You need US coming back to your theaters, buying your overpriced concessions. You need US, too.

We are lucky in my area to have equal to more Regal Cinemas than AMC. Whatever they do isn’t going to impact us unless somehow they merge with Regal and their leadership controlled the future of both companies. I’ll pray for that never to happen.

I see a ship that just hit an iceberg. It’s not 1912, but it sure feels like it.

5 thoughts on “AMC Titanic May Just Have Struck Studio Iceberg – They Will No Longer Play ANY Universal Movies

    1. There is an encouraging part at the end of his letter where he says AMC is interested in getting together with Universal and working it out. *THAT* should have been the public statement, nothing more. All the back and forth sniping in the media doesn’t help either side. Sigh, so many problems in our world solved by the big C: communication. Lack therof, usually.

      Liked by 1 person

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