Universal vs Theaters! Does Anyone Win?

Movies aren’t being made currently and theaters are closed. Yet, Universal Pictures and AMC (now add Regal) are engaged in a war of words and threats. This isn’t a good time for moguls to be feuding. It’s not a good look for either entity while people are losing jobs and are furloughed. Smaller business are forced to shut down and in danger of staying in business post-pandemic.

The point is, it’s tough on many people out there and to see two major entertainment entities feuding doesn’t shed any outside sympathy on either of them. The basics of this is that AMC and Regal are claiming they will stop playing any Universal productions in their theaters, due to Universal insisting on releasing their upcoming titles on premium video-on-demand.

Universal has touted the success of the recent Trolls World Tour, which has made an estimated $95 million from the $19.99 rental prices on digital platforms. That’s a really good number for video on demand rentals, so no surprise that Universal is pleased.

Here is the outline and the case for each participant, including us (the public) who is the paid customer to both of these corporations.


  • Continued large profit
  • Keeping their slate of movies rolling
  • Quick release of movies to the public
  • Keeping revenue that would have been split with the theaters
  • More control of their product
  • Cause they can do this without the use of theaters

Basically, Universal can make a case that during a time of a pandemic they can continue to provide entertainment to the public that is largely staying at home. In the eyes of the studio, as long as they can make their product directly available to the public, they are doing their jobs.


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