Universal Pictures has reached a historic deal with movie theaters that will change the way movies are released in the future.
The studio already had a deal in place with AMC Theatres that allows it to premiere movies on premium video on-demand within three weeks of their theatrical releases. The deal only allows movies to be released at premium prices of around $20 and the studio would still need to wait three months after the theatrical release to lower rental prices to the $3 to $6 range.
Now, Universal has struck a deal with Cinemark.
The new deal states that any movie that opens with at least $50 million in opening weekend ticket sales has to stay exclusively in theaters for at least 31 days, which covers the first five weekends.
Any movies that earn less than $50 million on the opening weekend can be released on premium video on demand after just 17 days in theaters. The blockbuster movies will be released on PVOD after that 31 day mark.
Variety‘s sources say the “new terms will also extend to AMC.”