It’s not a stretch to believe AMC is a mess on a number of public relations fronts right now.
We thought AMC was a toothless bear with missing claws when their CEO was lashing out at Universal over the launch of Trolls World Tour (see: AMC Titanic May Just Have Struck Studio Iceberg – They Will No Longer Play ANY Universal Movies). Now, less than half a year later, this has all but been proven.
Or maybe it’s because AMC is more afraid of Disney than Universal?
Whatever the case, AMC’s empty threat of not showing any Universal movies was revoked and recently they struck a deal to shorten the theatrical window to 17 days for Universal and Focus Features movies (see: Good deal – AMC strikes historic deal with Universal to shrink theatrical window to 17 days), with AMC receiving a slice of Universal’s VOD revenue. I’m sticking by this being a good deal, but others in the industry, including other studios and the other two theater chains, have criticized the deal.
What’s fascinating is how quickly AMC’s #1 in the industry position being completely closed and flailing financially has warmed their tone. It looks like pure survival instinct vs. playing the industry heavy.
Aron’s comments are strikingly different from his attitude just five months ago. When the coronavirus pandemic shuttered theaters across the nation, Universal opted to release Trolls World Tour on-demand, prompting AMC to threaten a ban on the studio’s films. “This policy affects any and all Universal movies per se, goes into effect today and as our theatres reopen, and is not some hollow or ill-considered threat,” Aron said of the ban at the time, which has since been revoked since AMC and Universal’s historic deal.AMC CEO Reacts to Disney Releasing Mulan on VOD – /Film
We’ve mentioned before that we rarely visit AMC theaters. The indecisive way they’ve behaved during the pandemic only makes them less desirable to us going forward to patronize. Admittedly, we have the benefit here — once most/all theaters reopen, that is — of having a cross selection of movie theaters including Regal and Cinemark, independents and AMC to choose from.
With multiple choices competing for our moviegoer $$$, and even before the pandemic, we rarely patronized AMC theaters. The AMC Stubs List program isn’t as good for our movie watching routine as the Regal Unlimited Plan (see: Yes, More Perks and Quirks to Entice Moviegoers Please + Regal Unlimited 2019 Recap), which is probably the #1 reason we prefer Regal over AMC, but if we only had AMC theaters to choose from, not being hypocritical, but we’d patronize AMC more. Having an indecisive corporation isn’t necessarily the fault of the local theater and management.
Recently, one reader commented that AMC has better popcorn than Regal. We need to do a taste comparison between the theaters, because honestly, my memory is both make good popcorn. It’s a curious observation and one marked down for future exploration.