The coronavirus pandemic has made going to the movies nearly impossible, but after a dispute, Universal Pictures movies may never be seen at AMC Theatres again.
The “Trolls: sequel, “Trolls2: World Tour,” was scheduled to release on Mar. 11 and then moved to an Apr. 10 date. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this film like others was put to a halt.
Universal Pictures ultimately pulled away from releasing the film in movie theaters and released it via video on demand (VOD). For AMC, this was anything but good news.
“Effective immediately, AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East,” stated Adam Aron CEO of AMC.
Universal Pictures bypassed the courtesy of waiting for movie theaters to re-open to release the animated movie. Universal saw this not only as a great business opportunity but as something helpful to kids during the pandemic, which prevents then from going out and seeing the highly anticipated film.
“Our goal in releasing ‘Trolls: World Tour’ on PVOD was to deliver entertainment to people who are sheltering at home, while movie theatres and other forms of outside entertainment are unavailable,” Universal stated in a response to AMC. “We look forward to having additional private conversations with our exhibition partners, but are disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt from AMC.”
Universal went on to say that it believed the right decision was made, based on the success of the movie so far.
“Based on the enthusiastic response to the film, we believe we made the right move. In fact, given the choice of not releasing ‘Trolls: World Tour,’ which would not only have prevented consumers from experiencing the movie but also negatively impacted our partners and employees, the decision was clear” said Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal.
Universal stated that it is their final decision to release future films at movie theaters or VOD, when necessary.