The companies say the dynamic window agreement preserves the theatrical experience, while adapting to changing consumer behavior. Universal and Cineplex say they are committed to creating a sustainable model for years to come.
The agreement guarantees at least three full weekends (17 days) of theatrical exclusivity for all Universal Pictures and Focus Features theatrical releases, at which point the studio will have the option to make its titles available across premium video on demand (PVOD) platforms, including the Cineplex Store.
Under the terms of the deal, any title that has a North American opening weekend box office of $50 million or more, including franchise titles, will play exclusively in theatres for at least five full weekends (31 days) before the title can be made available on PVOD.
“The pandemic has given the industry and movie-lovers around the globe a new appreciation for the magic of the big screen experience,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex.
“We are pleased to work alongside like-minded partners such as Universal, a studio that respects the theatrical window and is committed to the sustainable long-term health of the theatrical ecosystem.”
“With audience fragmentation accelerating due to the rise in digital, streaming and cord cutting, as well as the unprecedented issues our industry is facing right now, our relationship with exhibition had to evolve and adapt to the changing distribution landscape,” added Donna Langley, Chairman, UFEG.
“Giving consumers the flexibility to view content on their terms is more important than ever to help expand moviegoing, and Ellis and our partners at Cineplex allow us to increase these opportunities for our Canadian audience.”
Universal and Cineplex said full terms of the deal are confidential and are not being disclosed.
UFEG’s film slate, including titles from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation, has five theatrical releases remaining on the 2020 calendar: The Croods: A New Age (11/25), Half Brothers (12/4), All My Life (12/4), News of the World (12/25) and Promising Young Woman (12/25).