Date published: Fri, 11th September 2020
Before the coronavirus pandemic the release window was 75 days, but the cinema closures gave Universal an opportunity to test direct to VOD which they did with Trolls World Tour and it would seem it was a success.
Universal threatened to release new movies simultaneously on VOD and cinema for which AMC, who owns UK cinema chain ODEON, threatened to no longer show their films.
As the two have a synergy of sorts they have come to an agreement and the window has shrunk from 75 days to 17, so the cinema chains have about 2 and a half weeks to make their money.
It will be interesting to see how this works in reality as the film on VOD, or box office VOD, it changes per platform, will be in the £20+ ($19+) region, and for a movie to watch at home when the normal rental price is in the £6 ($5) region.
The boundaries can be moved but clearly Universal in in control and they will do whatever brings them the most amount of money.
Watch this space, but lets hope the movie theatre will still be with us in the future, Steven Spielberg famously claimed home video tapes would kill the cinema experience and refused to release E.T. for many years on VHS, it ended up helping to boost the industry, lets hope the same can happen here and the two can find their space in the market.