Last week Universal made a few enemies in the cinema industry, by announcing that it had plans to continue releasing new releases on demand – citing the possibilities of simultaneous VOD and cinema releases after it’s tried to work out all the logistical bugs. Cinemas were not happy about that, with the parent companies of both Odeon and Cineworld announcing that they won’t stand for this and won’t show Universal films anymore. Now Vue has popped up to have its own say, and surprisingly it’s happy to keep screening Universal movies.
Tim Richards, chief executive of Vue, told The Times that Universal had been a great partner for the company, and that “We intend to help promote and market their movies so they can be shown on our screens”, later adding “they had already spent very heavily on marketing the film and suddenly there were no screens to actually play it.”
It’s an interesting stance to take, especially when other, larger cinema chains seem to be trying to using their position to leverage the studios into not trying to cut them out of distribution and potentially run them out of business. That comes in light of big studios trying to strongarm the cinemas, like Disney demanding more share of ticket revenue for cinemas that wanted to show Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
As much as it is a pain to have to go to the cinema, it’s just about the only way to release films without HD copies winding up on the internet for the world to download for nothing. Once it’s online, it’s never coming off, and at least with the cinema way the studios stand to make a significant amount of money if a film does well. No amount of Trolls: World Tour making $100 million is going to change that. [The Times]
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