Things have been heating up fast between Universal and theatre chains this week! After the success of Trolls World Tour's VOD release, NBCUniversal executive Jeff Shell told investors that the movie had proven there was a market for films that release for premium rental on the same day the theatrical release happens. That sounds pretty great to a lot of consumers, but it did not go over well with AMC Theatres. The popular chain announced this week that it would no longer be showing Universal movies once theatres re-open. This was a pretty bold move considering Universal has huge movies such as No Time to Die, F9, and Jurassic World: Dominion on their roster. However, in a surprising move, one of AMC's biggest competitors, Regal Cinemas, decided to join the company in refusing to show Universal movies. While it's understandable that theatre chains would feel threatened over movies going straight to VOD, people can't help but worry that this is not in the best interest of any party involved. In addition to having opinions about these threats, many film buffs are baffled by the fact that it was Trolls World Tour that set off this drama.
Universal previously defended its actions in releasing Trolls World Tour on VOD and made it clear they're planning to support the theatrical release model in the future. "We absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and have made no statement to the contrary. As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theatres, as well as on PVOD when that distribution outlet makes sense. We look forward to having additional private conversations with our exhibition partners but are disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt from AMC and NATO to confuse our position and our actions."
Here are some of the best posts to hit Twitter since AMC and Regal announced they would no longer show Universal movies due to the company's Trolls World Tour comments...
You Have to Laugh to Keep From Crying
AMC and Regal collapsing over TROLLS WORLD TOUR would be really, really funny— Chris (@funkyassdg) April 29, 2020
Things Turned Dramatic Quick
Universal: Releases Trolls World Tour on VOD— Rob (@RealityRobbed) April 29, 2020
AMC Theaters, inexplicably: pic.twitter.com/d8cJKPtmkW
"Call Their Buff"
So, it AMC and regal want to be so ridiculous, I think now would be a good time for Universal to call their bluff and release F9 or No Time to Die...let’s just cross the line in the middle of this and see what happens with it. Trolls did great...those would be on another level. pic.twitter.com/UXPdRTBERd— PJ Campbell (@pj_campbell) April 29, 2020
A Bleak Future
Me at 90 years old, gathering my grandchildren around the fire as they sip hot coco: Let me tell you about the time "Trolls" changed cinema industry forever.— dilara (@arthoescinema) April 29, 2020
I feel this is the general feelings towards Regal and AMC Cinemas right now over the Universal stuff. pic.twitter.com/q2i2CLl9Pg— TRAFON (@RiseFallNick) April 30, 2020
The Fight Has Begun
Universal: We’re gonna use streaming in addition to theatrical releases going forward.
AMC and Regal Cinemas: pic.twitter.com/gczdIrFL5a— Dallas from Creative Differences (@AKingNamedSimba) April 29, 2020
This Unlikely Union, Though
Regal showing solidarity with AMC. Love to see it. https://t.co/cQf2KFi1RL— Sigtryggr Ali - MONSTERS OF MURKA AVAILABLE NOW! (@CameraGuyPablo) April 29, 2020
don't think enough people are talking about the fact that AMC theaters straight up said they're not gonna screen universal pictures movies because of the video-on-demand success of *checks notes* Trolls World Tour pic.twitter.com/nIsUDk78ct— mork (@karlmorx) April 29, 2020
Did They Really Think This Through?
What the... You LITERALLY have an AMC on UNIVERSAL CITYWALK!!! https://t.co/PwjfrZWE3E— Andre the Hedgehog (@BlackNerd) April 29, 2020
Regal Cinemas and AMC Theaters on the way to bankruptcy after refusing to show Universal movies. pic.twitter.com/IiMnzzrgej— ViewToons 💙 (@ViewToons) April 29, 2020
Bold or Petty?
What do you think about AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas' decision to stop showing Universal movies? Was this a petty move or good business decision? Tell us in the comments!