Call it 'trolling' of a different kind, but AMC Theaters (AMC) - Get Report is having none of Comcast's (CMCSA) - Get Report Universal Studios's talk about streaming movies to consumers at home first.
AMC will no longer screen films made by Universal Pictures after Universal opted to bypass theaters and release its “Trolls: World Tour” animated movie directly to consumers amid the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdown.
AMC CEO Adam Aron announced the ban in a letter to Universal Chairman Donna Langley, telling her that the decision was triggered by a quote NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell gave to The Wall Street Journal about the strong digital success of the animated kids sequel.
"Effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East," Aron said, adding that the policy is "not some hollow or ill-considered threat."
AMC does have a deal with Universal and other studios to "window" its movies in advance of their broader release. However, the pandemic has raised not only issues about whether studios can and should bypass those agreements and release content directly to consumers, but whether the movie-release rollout process overall should be re-examined.
Despite the war of words, the move has paid off for Universal, with the company earning nearly $100 million in rental fees since its digital release April 10.
- Wednesday Coronavirus Update: The U.S. Surpasses One Million Cases Worldwide
- Google Beat on Top Line, Misses on Bottom: What's Driving the Stock
- Hot Dog Sales Remain a Home Run, Despite Zero Sporting Events
- Professional Athletes in Business: NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson Says Teamwork is Recipe for Success
- Jim Cramer: Don't Bet on Rebound in Tyson, Jim Cramer Says
- Jim Cramer: Jim Cramer: This Market Rally Is Based in Hopes Coronavirus Has Peaked
- Jim Cramer: Jim Cramer: Jay Powell Needs to Say 'We're Not Done'