Regal and AMC banned Universal movies from their cinemas following comments made by the CEO for NBCUniversal, Jeff Shell.
Following the success of Trolls World Tour, which was released on video on demand (VOD) after cinemas closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shell said we should expect Universal “to release movies on both formats”.
AMC CEO Adam Aron said, “It is disappointing to us, but Jeff’s comments as to Universal’s unilateral actions and intentions have left us with no choice. Therefore, effectively immediately AMC will no longer play any Universal movies in any of our theaters in the United States, Europe or the Middle East.”
Shell responded with his own statement. “We absolutely believe in the theatrical experience and have made no statement to the contrary. As we stated earlier, going forward, we expect to release future films directly to theaters, as well as on PVOD (premiere video on demand) when that distribution outlet makes sense. We look forward to having additional private conversations with our exhibition partners but are disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt from AMC and NATO to confuse our position and our actions.”